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Syrian army moving to the north to face the Turkish attack

SYRIA (OBSERVATORY) — On the fifth day of an attack by Ankara and its pro-Syrian factions on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, Syrian army units began moving towards the north of the country on Sunday to “confront the Turkish aggression,” the official SANA news agency reported.

The official agency did not give further details and whether the move comes within the framework of an agreement with the Kurds, or whether the Syrian army will be deployed in the border area, while a Kurdish official told Agence France-Presse that there were “negotiations” between the Kurdish self-administration and the Syrian government.

He explained that “all options are available for us in front of the Turkish attack, the government must shoulder its responsibilities to face the aggression, not only the SDF target” of the attack.

Turkey and its pro-Syrian factions on Wednesday launched an offensive against Kurdish fighters, US partners in fighting the Islamic State group, which controls about 30 percent of Syria.

After five days of heavy artillery and aerial bombardment, Turkish forces and their factions now control 100 kilometers along the border between the town of Tal Abyad (north of Raqqa) and Ras al-Ain (north of Hasaka), according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Russia plays the role of “guarantee”

In the face of the Turkish attack, the Kurdish self-administration on Wednesday called on Russia to play the role of “guarantee” in the “dialogue” with Damascus.

One of Damascus’ s drawbacks on the Kurds is their alliance with the United States. This week she blamed “some Kurdish organizations” for what is happening.

At the beginning of 2019, also in the face of Turkish threats, the Kurdish self-administration called on regime forces to deploy in the Manbij area of ​​Aleppo’s northeastern countryside. The Syrian army then announced that its units had entered the area.

Faced with an offensive by Turkish forces and their pro-Syrian factions that ended in the takeover of the mainly Kurdish region of Afrin in 2018, the Kurds also called on Damascus to intervene to prevent the Turkish offensive. At the time, however, Damascus did not deploy army units.

Previous negotiations by the Syrian government with the Kurds on the fate of their regions have made no progress, with Damascus insisting on restoring the status quo ante before the conflict broke out in 2011, and the Kurds sticking to their own administration and civilian and military institutions.

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