Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army members hold flags on Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 28, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Khalil Ashawi

A strategic hilltop has proved difficult to secure for Turkey’s forces in Syria, as Kurdish soldiers reportedly retook the location for a second time.

Turkish forces claimed victory over Bursaya on Jan 22, Washington DC-based Al-Monitor reports, amid cries of “Allahu Akbar,” only to lose it within hours to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Then on Sunday, Turkish forces and their Free Syrian Army allies planted a Turkish flag on top of a strategically important hill, declaring they had again seized full control of Bursaya.

But Turkish authories, Al-Monitor writes, were forced to cancel a government-sponsored media tour of the hill on Monday, amid news that the YPG retook the site once again.

The location serves as a buffer between the Turkish-controlled Euphrates Shield zone and the strategic prize of Afrin.

Kurdish forces taking back captured territory overnight “is becoming something of a pattern,” according to the report, as Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan tries to deliver on his pledge to create a 900 km buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria.

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