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Middle East

Exclusive: On the front line with the Free Syrian Army on Mount Barsaya

© Screen grab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-01-29

Turkey and its Free Syrian Army allies say they've captured strategic Mount Barsaya from Kurdish YPG fighters. Before all journalists were asked to leave, FRANCE 24 gained exclusive access to an FSA position on the front line.

“We're headed to the front line of fighting between the YPG (People's Protection Units) separatists and our men,” said Hattab, a commander of the Sultan Ottman militia, one of many armed groups that make up the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

“We haven't been able to advance for few days because of the bad weather, and the YPG are trying to infiltrate our positions on a daily basis.”

A group of fighters takes us to their position on Mount Barsaya, a strategic point between FSA-controlled Azaz and Afrin, the Kurdish enclave that is the target of a Turkish military offensive.

The tree line is all that separates the YPG from the Free Syrian Army. But despite Turkey's promise of a swift victory, the Kurds are putting up fierce resistance.

“Last night they attacked us from above but we pushed them back. God willing, we'll protect civilians from the terrorists.”

Kurds have controlled this region since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, and they know the terrain.

That puts the FSA at a disadvantage.

Click on the video player above to view the full FRANCE 24 report.

Date created : 2018-01-28

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