More violent clashes between Turkish-backed factions in Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) in North and East Syria

RISH AYNO (RAS AL-AYN), Syria – Internal clashes took place between the Turkish-backed factions in the city of Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) on Friday resulting in the interruption of the electrical power line feeding the Alouk water station. Several fighters were killed during the clashes and at least one civilian, a little girl, was killed.

According to North Press Agency, clashes erupted between the Hamza Division and Sultan Murad Division, both factions within the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), without providing information about the reason behind them. The clashes caused a state of panic among the civilians of the city, with indiscriminate shelling damaging civilian homes.

The SNA is a collection of militias, including several espousing Islamist ideologies, formed and funded by Turkey, who invaded the region in October 2019.

The fighting damaged power lines feeding electricity to the Alouk water station leading to the interruption of water pumping.

Alouk provides drinking water for at least half-a-million civilians and is routinely deactivated by the Turkish military and SNA in an attempt to put pressure on the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and force the allocation of electricity to occupied Rish Ayno as well as to stretch the limited resources of the DAA.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), clashes stopped at about 20:30 on Friday after Turkish forces intervened to stop the fighting.

SOHR also reported that the fighting coincided with the mobilization of the Turkish forces in the area who had cut the roads near the village of Tal Halaf.

According to SOHR’s sources, the clashes erupted after the Turkish forces requested to hand over the Alouk water station to the Syrian regime and Russian forces. This was met with some of the factions’ rejection and clashes occurred in several areas.

It was reported that eight members of Turkey’s factions were killed in the fighting, with at least one civilian death, a young girl.

This is not the first time that Rish Ayno has witnessed such clashes. The factions of the SNA routinely fight one another over the distribution of looted homes and material.

On Saturday, SOHR reported that clashes had renewed.