Turkish forces are seen in Tal Abyad in northern Syria on October 18, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
DAMASCUS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Intense battles flared on Saturday when the Turkish forces and Turkey-backed rebels launched an offensive against the Kurdish and Syrian forces in northern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.
The battles involving heavy and medium weapons are fought in the village of Um Shuaifeh in the countryside of Hasakah Province near the Turkish border, SANA said.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said intense battles are taking place on several fronts between the town of Tal Tamr and Abu Rasayn area in Hasakah countryside between the Turkey-backed rebels and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as part of the wide-scale offensive launched by the Turkish forces in Hasakah countryside.
The Syrian forces withdrew from some areas as a result of the heavy shelling, the London-based watchdog added.
Turkey began its campaign against the SDF and its broader umbrella the Kurdish People's Protection Units last month as Ankara sees these groups as terrorists and separatists.
A few deals under the Russian mediation have been reached since Oct. 9, which led to the halt of the fights in some areas and the entry of Syrian troops to Kurdish-held areas on the Syrian-Turkish border.
However, Turkey has recently charged that the Kurdish militia didn't withdraw from certain areas near the Turkish border as planned, which explains the renewed fighting between the Kurdish militia and the Turkey-backed rebels.