Ayn Issa[2] (Arabic: عين عيسى, also spelled Ain Issa. Meaning Spring of Jesus)[3] is a town in the Tell Abyad District of Raqqa Governorate in Syria. It is located halfway between the Syria–Turkey border town of Tell Abyad and the regional capital Raqqa. Through the city runs the M4 highway connecting Aleppo with the Hasakah Governorate.[4]

Ayn Issa
عين عيسى
Ayn Issa nahiya within Raqqa Governorate
Ayn Issa nahiya within Raqqa Governorate
Ayn Issa is located in Syria
Ayn Issa
Ayn Issa
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 36°23′7″N 38°51′34″E / 36.38528°N 38.85944°E / 36.38528; 38.85944
Country Syria
DistrictTell Abyad
SubdistrictAyn Issa
ControlAutonomous Administration of North and East Syria Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria
 (2004 census)[1]
 • Town6,730
 • Nahiyah
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Syrian civil war


In June 2015, Ayn Issa was taken over by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, Women's Protection Units (YPJ), and the Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade in the course of their Tell Abyad offensive. While it was shortly recaptured by ISIL militants,[5] it was reclaimed by the YPG in early July.[6] On 14 October 2019, the Syrian Army entered and established joint control over Ayn Issa after an agreement with the SDF to prevent the Turkish offensive in the area.[7][8] It became the seat of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria in September 2018.[9]

Ayn Issa refugee camp


Since April 2016, the Ayn Issa refugee camp on the outskirts of the town has housed approximately 9,000 refugees by July 2018, mainly Syrian Internally Displaced Persons from the governorates of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa.[10][11]

2020–21 Ayn Issa clashes


On 23 November 2020, clashes broke out between the SNA and SDF near Ayn Issa.[12] On December 1, Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper reported that the SDF managed to ambush Turkish-backed forces, killing 30 fighters.[13]


  1. ^ "2004 Census Data for Ayn Issa nahiyah" (in Arabic). Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015. Also available in English: "2004 Census Data". UN OCHA. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  2. ^ "U.S. soldier dies following IED blast in northern Syria". Reuters. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Syrian Observatory: government forces deploy to Ain Issa in northern Syria". Reuters. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  4. ^ RA, enab07 (2019-12-05). "Ain Issa: from an obscure town to SDF headquarters". Enab Baladi. Retrieved 2022-12-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Islamic State 'recaptures north Syria town from Kurds'". BBC News. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Islamic State conflict: Kurds reclaim Ain Issa in Syria". BBC News. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  7. ^ "سوریه ششمین روز حمله نظامی ترکیه به کُردهای سوریه؛ شورشیان تحت حمایت ترکیه وارد تل‌ابیض شدند". Euronews. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  8. ^ News Desk (2019-10-15). "Early reports of clashes between Turkish-backed militants and Syrian Army-backed SDF troops in northern Raqqa". AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. Archived from the original on 2020-09-27. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  9. ^ "New administration formed for northeastern Syria". www.kurdistan24.net. Retrieved 2020-12-18.
  10. ^ "Camp Profile - Ein Issa, Ar-Raqqa Governorate, Syria - November 2017 - Syrian Arab Republic". ReliefWeb. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "ReliefWeb" (PDF). Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Infiltration attempt | 11 Turkish-backed militiamen killed in clashes with SDF nearby Ain Issa • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 2020-11-24. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  13. ^ "SDF official: Russian grantor keeps watching Turkish attacks on Syria's Ain Issa". TASS. 2020-11-24. Retrieved 2021-02-20.