The militia fighters backed by Turkey have been preparing for the land invasion of northern Syria for days and it is now done.

It is the furthest where they have gone so far; through a breach in the wall of the Turkish border, they invaded the border town of Ras al Ain.

They are supported by armored vehicles, artillery and air support.

Militia supported by Turkey
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Turkey-backed militias backed by tanks and airstrikes

Anyone who has gone to fight them has no chance.

We drove to Ras al Ain when our phones started ringing and we parked on the side of the road.

Our Kurdish drivers and producers were all on the phone.

The message from all their sources was clear: the road in front of us, the bend we were going to take, had fallen and there was more to do than turn around.

We drove to the city of Hassakah about an hour to the south. You could feel the tension when we arrived. Every roundabout, every intersection, every checkpoint had soldiers with their weapons in their hands.

Flatback four-wheel drive trucks equipped with machine guns mounted and filled with fighters wearing hoods paraded the streets.

Roads were congested with traffic – vehicle after vehicle filled with families and their belongings: clothes, animals, suitcases and kitchen cabinets. Even flows.

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Thousands of people have been displaced
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People are staying in schools in a city where there is now water

Hassakah is not so sure, but it is the safest place in these areas at the moment and thousands of people have been flooded.

At an intersection, I could see two trucks with soldiers piled on board, then another and another. Our Kurdish guide told us that it was troops from the city of Deir Azur, brought back to mount a counter-offensive against the Turkish invasion.

They are the first contingent to arrive. Thousands of others arrive.

We followed them along the road, taking the traffic, shouting in unison that they were going to retake Ras al Ain.

What struck me was how lightly they were armed: just AK 47s.

Against an army backed by airpower, they must know that they are heading for carnage. They can fight any militia, but not tanks and airpower.

But the Kurds have nowhere to go, so they will face their fate anyway.



Urcs forces intensify bombing around the Syrian town of Ras Al Ain







Turkish forces intensify Syrian bombing

Honestly, it's awful to watch. Will young men die because two presidents have a deal? Goodness me.

But it's a big one, but it's soldiers who are dedicated to protecting the Kurdish and Arab civilians that make up the population of this part of Syria, and these civilians need all the help they can get.

It takes time, but you soon realize that the teeming streets are filled with thousands of displaced people.

They are in trucks or roadside with suitcases. They lost everything – they had to leave everything behind as the fighting intensified.

Many have nowhere to go. A few, actually a small number, are settled in schools.

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Young children are among those looking for a new home

And the schools are already full – men, women and children sharing unfit classrooms. There are no adequate facilities for families with young children to stay free of disease.

This is not an opinion, it is a fact. I've seen it dozens of times around the world. Schools are for teaching. They are not designed to take care of refugees.

To add to the problems, the city does not have water. To repeat: no water. The pumping stations were destroyed.

The volunteers do their best and the displaced are helped by them and by the immediate community. But it will deteriorate very quickly. That's another fact.

In just a few days, this crisis has worsened dramatically.

The Kurds are trapped and defenseless against NATO's second largest army.

This crisis will soon become a humanitarian disaster.