Ceylandpinar, Turkey — Turkey’s military stated it captured a important Syrian border town beneath heavy bombardment Saturday as its offensive against Kurdish fighters pressed into its fourth day. Turkish troops entered central Ras al-Ayn, according to Turkey’s Defense Ministry and a war monitor group, marking the most considerable acquire because the invasion started Wednesday.

The ministry tweeted: “Ras al-Ayn’s residential center has been taken beneath handle by means of the prosperous operations in the east of Euphrates” river. 

Syrian Kurdish forces appeared to be holding out in some locations of the town. The Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces released two videos stated to be from inside Ras al-Ayn, displaying fighters saying it is Saturday and they are nevertheless there. 

In addition to Turkey’s assault, Syrian Kurdish forces have the ISIS threat to contend with. A Turkish shelled slammed into an ISIS prison compound, and moments later, ISIS prisoners had been noticed generating a break for it, Charlie D’Agata reported. Kurdish forces had warned they would struggle to detain ISIS prisoners if Turkey attacked. 

Turkish artillery fire comes close to hitting U.S. outpost

Turkey’s push deeper into northern Syria — displaying small sign of relenting in spite of mounting international stress — comes days following President Trump cleared the way for Turkey’s air and ground invasion, pulling back U.S. forces from the region and saying he wanted to quit receiving involved with “endless wars.” They choice drew swift bipartisan criticism that he was endangering regional stability and risking the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who brought down ISIS in Syria. 

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces was the most important U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS and lost 11,000 fighters in the almost 5-year battle against the extremists. 

Earlier Saturday, Turkish troops moved to seize handle of important highways in northeastern Syria, the Turkish military and the Observatory stated. Turkish troops also reduce the route linking the northeastern city of Hassakeh with Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city and when industrial center, according to the Observatory.

Turkey has stated it aims to push back the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which it considers terrorists for its hyperlinks to a decades-lengthy Kurdish insurgency inside its personal borders. The YPG is a most important element of the SDF.

The U.N. estimated the quantity of displaced at 100,000 because Wednesday, saying that markets, schools and clinics also had been closed. Observers say at least 30 civilians have been killed. Help agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis, with almost a half-million people today at danger in northeastern Syria. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Friday Turkey will not quit till the Syrian Kurdish forces withdraw beneath a 32 kilometer (20 miles) deep line from the border.

APTOPIX Turkey US Syria
Neighborhood residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP