October 12, 2019 / 8:56 AM / 4 months ago

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels say they have cut road in new advance

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkey-backed Syrian rebels said on Saturday they had cut a road connecting Syrian towns along a section of the border where the Turkish army is waging an offensive targeting Kurdish-led forces.

Officials with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could not immediately be reached for comment.

Youssef Hammoud, spokesman for the Turkey-backed National Army, said fighters had cut the 712 road that links Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain - the focal points of the Turkish offensive that began on Wednesday.

The road hugs the border in some places and in others extends a number of kilometres (miles) into Syria.

“This advance was on a new and surprise front ... between Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain. On this front, they were able to cut the roads linking together Suluk, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ain with the villages in the area,” he said in a statement to Reuters.

He said 18 villages had been captured in the advance.

Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Frances Kerry

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