Northern Syria remains uneasy / News / News agency Inforos
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Northern Syria remains uneasy

Inconsistencies cling between the Russian and Turkish military

Northern Syria remains uneasy

The situation in northeastern Syria remains tense. The Russian force grouping command has managed to stop armed clashes between pro-Turkish and Kurdish formations outside the town of Ayn Issa, but sustainable peace has yet to be achieved. The Turkish army command has stopped reshuffling its military garrison north of the town and accused the Kurds of refusing to place one of the positions on the southern outskirts of Ayn Issa under the Syrian government army's control.

Negotiations of the Russian military with             the Turkish command and the military leadership of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have not yielded any positive results. The situation heats up as Turkish-loyal fighters of the so-called Syrian National Army, who partially control the highway, every once in a while block traffic of civilian transport between Ayn Issa and Tell Tamer and all along to Aleppo.

The Russian garrison deployed in the south of Ayn Issa ensures safety around of the city: the military has posted four look-outs jointly with the Syrian army at thoroughfares to insure protection of the passing civilian transport loaded with food and other goods. Intensive effort is underway on further site development and military garrison infrastructure installation equipment.

The situation is difficult outside the cities of Al-Hasakah and Qamishli in north-eastern Syria (Al-Hasakah Governorate). The region is controlled by the SDF, the Syrian government army and Russian troops. Traditionally, the Kurdish population dwelling here expresses growing discontent with the Syrian military (the area mainly hosts units of the 4th Armored Division of the Republican Guard of the Syrian Armed Forces).

Aided by the military, army counterintelligence officers conduct uncontrolled and illegal detentions of Kurdish activists, members of SDF's military and political leadership. Syrian soldiers on sufferance of their commanders are engaged in looting the population and taking people's food away when they pass through checkpoints. In response, the Kurdish fighters use the same measures, taking the Syrian military hostage to make them serve as "exchanged goods" for releasing their fellow tribesmen.

All of this has entailed an actual division of residential areas in Al-Hasakah and Qamishli into zones of influence and control, as well as installation of barriers made of concrete slabs and sandbags. Separation lines are provided with firing holes all the way through. Occasionally, small arms shootouts occur between Syrian units and Kurdish detachments.

The Russian command has not yet intervened, keeping a close watch on the situation in the region, increasing its military presence and being engaged in refitting the airfield in southern Qamishli. Several Russian military transport aircraft have recently delivered a bulk of military equipment, munitions and over 300 military personnel to the Qamishli airfield. Supplies of equipment and weapons continue.

In turn, the Pentagon has also stepped up the supply of US facilities with military equipment. Since the turn of this year alone, the US military stationed in the governorates of Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor has been supplied with munitions delivered from Iraq to Syria by seven transport convoys comprising 40-50 vehicles each.

The Russian Aerospace Forces' combat aviation missions have all along focused on supporting units of the Syrian government army's 5th Corps and Palestinian detachments engaged in "clearing" the territory from terrorists at the junction of Aleppo, Hama and Idlib governorates.

A tense atmosphere persists on the edges of the so-called Idlib zone, with its never-ending mutual artillery exchanges between detachments of pro-Turkish radical Islamic groups and Syrian government forces.

Thus, all the parties to the conflict refrain from active hostilities as of today. This is significantly brought about by weather activity, as well as arrangements designed to build up and train troops ahead of the summer campaign.

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