geopolitics-00524
Turkish Army soldiers prepare their tanks and armoured personnel carriers at a staging area in the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey, on the border with Syria, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The Turkish offensive on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syria, codenamed Operation Olive Branch, started on Saturday, heightening tensions in the already complicated Syrian conflict and threatening to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The Turkish Armed Forces, alongside their allied Syrian fighters, continued their campaign in northern Syria this week, hitting a number of targets around two key towns controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) east of the Euphrates.

According to reports from Al-Raqqa front, the Turkish army and their allied Syrian forces launched several artillery and rocket strikes on the SDF’s positions near the town of Ain Issa, causing powerful explosions that could be heard as far as the administrative capital.

The Turkish army and their allied forces then expanded their attacks to the western countryside of the Al-Hasakah Governorate, where they hit the Syrian Democratic Forces’ positions near the key town of Tal Tamr, which also has a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) presence.

These attacks by the Turkish Armed Forces have become more prevalent over the last few months, prompting local residents in Tal Tamr and Ain Issa to flee their homes in fear of a potential offensive led by Ankara.

Furthermore, it has prompted the Russian military police to get more involved, especially in the Tal Tamr countryside, where they have mobilized a large force to patrol the areas and ensure the safety of the local residents.

While Turkey has not commented on whether or not they will launch another offensive east of the Euphrates, all indications from their military moves point to a new operation to capture Ain Issa in the coming months.