ISTANBUL: Turkish forces have taken control of the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain, which has been a focus of its operation against Kurdish militants, the defence ministry said Saturday.
“As a result of successful operations within the scope of Operation Peace Spring, the town of Ras al-Ain to the east of the Euphrates has been brought under control,” it wrote on Twitter.
Kurdish authorities denied the town had fallen to the Turks.
“Ras al-Ain is still resisting and clashes are ongoing,” said an official of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
An AFP correspondent in the area said Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels had entered the town but had yet to capture it.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that the town, a major target of the Turkish offensive, had yet to be completely taken.
Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported that the town was taken by Syrian proxy forces under Turkey’s command.
Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad have been the primary focus of Turkey’s offensive launched on Wednesday against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
Turkey has heavily bombarded the towns and made steady advances, prompting tens of thousands of civilians to flee.