Nov. 13 - As Syrian forces bombard the town of Ras al-Ain with bombs and mortars, civilians flee across the border into neighboring Turkey. Travis Brecher reports.
A fighter jet roars across the sky over Ras al-Ain, swooping in to launch an early morning air strike. Forces fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are trying to regain control of the small border town, which fell to rebels last Thursday. In addition to the aerial assaults, government ground forces have sent mortars raining down on the settlement -- an offensive that has contributed to one of the biggest refugee movements since the Syrian conflict began in March of last year. In the first 24 hours of fighting alone, some 9,000 people fled across the border to Turkey. Ras al-Ain, around 375 miles north of Damascus, lies in Syria's oil-producing province of Hasaka. The region is home to many of Syria's million-strong Kurdish minority. Syrian Kurds have largely stayed away from the anti-Assad revolt, and many fear that the mostly Sunni Muslim rebels will ignore their aspirations for autonomy if Assad should fall.