DAMASCUS – The Damascus government sent a large number of army troops to northeastern Syria amid reports about a new Turkish assault despite an agreement that calls on Ankara to halt its military operation to allow the Kurdish militias withdraw 20 miles to the south from the border.
According to a military source in Hasaka province, the Syrian Army has sent several reinforcements to the Tel Tamar, Ein Al-Arab (Kobani), Ain Issa and Al-Tabaqa fronts in order to fortify its positions and prevent any future advances by the Turkish Armed Forces and their militant allies in the region.
The source added that the Syrian Army made the decision to send troops following an attack by the Turkish-backed militants on the town of Al-Ahras near the Tel Tamar District. Despite the ceasefire, the Turkish-backed militants on Monday launched a new attack south of the border city of Tal Abyad in the northern countryside of Raqqa province.
According to reports, Ankara-supported militias have managed to capture the towns of Khirbat Fors, Al-Salibi, and Al-Alwat near the border city of Tal Abyad, marking their first advance since they occupied the border city of Ras Al-Ain on Sunday.
A five-day ceasefire was reached in negotiations between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday, a week after Ankara and its allied militants launched a new military campaign in northern Syria dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring’ that has triggered widespread global condemnation.
Meantime, the Kurds have also struck an agreement with the Syrian government in a move to be shielded against the Turkish onslaught. The agreement envisages the dispatch of Syrian government troops to the Kurdish-held territories to receive control and block the incursion of the Turkish Army and its allied militants.
Though the Kurdish militias delivered control over a number of towns and villages to the Damascus army, including Manbij, Raqqa, and Kobani, they started giving up territories to the Turkish army instead of the Damascus troops last night.
Once US President Donald Trump declared a pullout of troops from the Kurdish regions in northern Syria to leave the so-called allied militias alone in the face of the Turkish onslaught, the enraged Kurds cried out against Washington’s disloyalty and its instrumental use of the Kurdish population; yet now once again they have started compliance with the US-brokered agreement.