The Frontline in Ras al-Ayn, Syria

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This short film shows Ras al-Ayn under mortar fire from mainly Arab rebel groups stationed west of the town. The journalist documented the front line in Ras al-Ayn, numbered with snipers and militants. This front line is just west of the city where the Kurdish YPG militia, who has been fighting against the rebels for months, is positioned.

Also included at the end of the video is an interview with a YPG female commander.

All the shots were taken on 30 August in Ras el Ayn, currently controlled by the Kurdish militia.

0:00-0:13 shot was filmed on the street with the sound of some mortar shells coming in (these were fired by the Free Syrian Army-Jabhat al Nusra-various others Arab rebel groups then positioned west of the town).

0:13-0:22 is the approach to the border gate. Streets in this area are deserted completely, though the eastern part of the city had a fair few people still.

0:22-0:32 is the walk from the border post to the last YPG (Kurdish militia) line which is currently about 50 meters to the west of the gate, running perpendicular to the border.

0:32-0:42 is the border, you can see the fence and everything (here a shot rings out), and this blown-through wall gives way to a little fighting position on a large clearing.

0:42-0:49 is the western wall of a large building overlooking this clearing.

0:50-0:59 is the walk across the clearing to the very last line. 1:00-1:06 is the climb up to the firing position.

Then in 1:07-1:12 a shot rings out, 1:13-1:23 we see the YPG dude aiming his rifle, then 1:23-1:37 we run back across the clearing.

1:38-1:51 we are entering the building overlooking the clearing. This building is full of snipers loking west over the clearing. 1:51-2:01 we see a sniper with an old bolt-action rifle.

2:02-2:06, a dude peeks over the sniper's head to see through his hole.

2:07-2:13, I peek over his head to see through the hole. The camera I think was on full zoom, those houses should about 500-800 meters out, and they are held by the Arab rebels.

2:14-2:32 is another sniper.

2:33-2:42 are two guys looking through a hole pondering tactical possibilities.

2:42-2:50 is spent ammunition cases on the floor.

2:51-2:55 is a tea can along with some other rubbish.

2:56-3:04 is some YPG dudes milling about in a building outside not far from the sniper's building.

3:05-3:25 is an interview with one of the commanders here, a woman, which I think is a nice little touch.

3:26-3:34 is a building in town, in the western part of the city.

3:35-3:45 is in a street close by.

3:46-3:53 is exactly the same place except looking at a different street and some sandbags.

3:54-to the end is just the street with some shots ringing out in the background.

The interview: "The fighting here began about 40 days ago. We are in our positions and we are fighting against these groups [referring to the enemy]. All our people are ready and we are going to clean our land, Rojava [western Kurdistan, that is to say the northeast of Syria], from these groups.

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