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Russian and Syrian reinforcements in northern Syria

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Moscow and Damascus on Friday sent additional military reinforcements to areas in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey, a day after Washington announced new troops to Kurdish-controlled areas to protect oil fields.

The US forces withdrew from several military border points with Turkey where they were located in the provinces of Aleppo (north) and Hasaka (northeast) border with Turkey, which was considered

A green light for Ankara to carry out an attack on the Kurds on October 9. The Kurds, in turn, resorted to the Syrian regime and reached an agreement with him to deploy troops in areas they controlled. Turkey signed an agreement with Russia, an ally of the regime, which allowed the latter to deploy troops in areas from which the Kurds withdrew.

But the Pentagon announced Thursday that it planned to strengthen its military presence in northeastern Syria to protect oil fields. The most prominent oil fields are in the northeast and east of Syria (Deir Ezzor and Hasakah governorates), and therefore are not located in the same areas from which the Americans withdrew or witnessed battles between the Turkish forces and Syrian pro-Syrian factions on the one hand, and the Syrian Democratic Forces, the YPG is the most important component.

All this adds to the complexity of the fate of the Kurdish autonomous region, which the Kurds withdrew this week from much of it under pressure from the Turkish offensive, and whether it will remain under US influence or become a region controlled by Russia’s future.

Russia sent on Friday to the border areas between Syria and Turkey reinforcements by about 300 additional military, who were previously deployed in Chechnya, as part of its agreement with Turkey.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement quoted by the Russian news agency TASS that about 300 elements of the Russian military police “were deployed previously in the Republic of Chechnya and arrived in Syria to carry out special operations.”

These elements, according to the statement, will ensure the safety of civilians and provide assistance to Kurdish forces in withdrawals from what Ankara calls the “safe zone”, which extends 30 km and 440 km along the Turkish-Syrian border.

Since Wednesday, Russian troops have been patrolling northern areas near the border with Turkey.

– A sudden US decision.

US President Donald Trump announced on December 5 a decision to withdraw his forces from Kurdish-controlled areas that have fought for years with Islamic State with US support.

In a surprise decision on Thursday, a Pentagon official said: “The United States is committed to strengthening its position in northeastern Syria in coordination with our partners in the SDF, by sending additional military support to prevent oil fields there from falling back into ISIS or other players.” Destabilizing. ”

The SDF now controls the most prominent Syrian oilfields in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Hassakeh.

Hours before the US announcement, the commander of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, told reporters that Trump had assured him in a telephone conversation that the Americans would “stay here for a long time,” noting that he had discussed with “the US military actors that they would be relocated in certain areas.” .

“I think the leadership of the SDF has decided that it is better to stay in the US team than to kneel Assad through Russia,” Nicholas Heras, a researcher at the US Institute of New Security, wrote on Twitter. But the question remains: “What will happen to the border area?”

After what they saw as Washington’s abandonment, the Kurds sought refuge in Damascus to counter Turkish intervention in their areas of control, and an agreement was reached after which the regime forces deployed in several border areas, most notably the cities of Manbij and Kobani and the surrounding towns of Tel Tamr and Ain Issa.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Friday the entry of a new convoy of regime forces consisting of dozens of vehicles to the Kobani area and deployed near the border.

– “We’re not coming back” –

Turkey suspended its offensive against Kurdish guerrillas after controlling a 120-kilometer stretch of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad and reached an agreement with Russia that would include the withdrawal of Kurds from an area of ​​440 kilometers.

The director of the Syrian Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, reported clashes since Thursday near Tal Tamr between factions loyal to Ankara on the one hand and the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian army on the other.

The clashes resulted in the killing of eight fighters loyal to Ankara and three elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces and a Syrian soldier, according to the Observatory.

Turkey is seeking to return a large part of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees living on its territory since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011, to the “safe area.”

Since Turkey began its offensive, more than 300,000 civilians have fled their border towns and villages, according to the United Nations.

Displaced people in schools in the city of al-Hasakah feared they would not return to their homes anymore.

“ Ras al-Ain is like Afrin, ” said Ali Abdullah, 30, from the town of Ras al-Ain, which was seized by Turkish forces and their factions in 2018.

“The people of Afrin do not return as long as the Turks control it, as well as the head of the eye.”

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