Turkey has begun the process of establishing new borders, extending 15 kilometres deep within the northeastern Syrian regions under its control, as reported by Hawar News Agency (ANHA) on Thursday.
These regions, on the border with Turkey, include Ras al-Ayn (Serêkaniyê), Tell Abyad (Girê Spi), Suluk, Jarabulus, al-Bab and Afrin (Efrîn). Security sources from these Turkish-controlled territories report ongoing trench digging and wall building activities. The initial phase involves constructing these structures east of Ras al-Ayn city, with plans to extend towards Tell Abyad.
The construction effort is part of a broader plan that includes similar developments in Jarabulus, Al-Bab, Azaz and Afrin. The trenches, running from north to south, delineate the borders between the Turkish-controlled regions and the Kurdish-led autonomous administration areas.
According to ANHA, the Turkish government has reportedly assigned the protection of these trenches to the First Brigade of the so-called National Army. This group is under the leadership of Abu Ahmed Zakour, known as the second-in-command of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.
Recently, Zakour faced accusations from Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the group’s leader, of leaking information to Sultan Murad, an organisation affiliated with Turkish intelligence. Following a military operation against him, Zakour fled to Azaz and surrendered to Turkish intelligence. He now commands a contingent of 500 personnel, who entered the occupied areas of Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn on 17 January.
Local reactions to these developments have been of notable concern. In the village of Daudiyeh, east of Ras al-Ayn, footage has captured villagers expressing dissatisfaction and anger towards the Turkish forces and associated mercenaries.