Govt. forces deploy in new northeastern Syria areas near Turkish border

Syrian government forces have been deployed to new areas in the country’s northeastern province of Hasakah as part of recent reinforcements in the face of a cross-border incursion by Turkish army troops and their allied militants against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that some Syrian army units entered Abu Rasin town in the eastern countryside of the key border town of Ra’s al-Ayn on Sunday, while other units headed northward to complete deployment along the border with Turkey and face the Turkish aggression.

SANA added that Syrian government forces have been deployed to villages and towns extending from the town of Tal Tamr to al-Darbasiyah on the Syrian-Turkish border and opposite the Turkish town of Senyurt.

Syrian army units enter Abu Rasin town in the eastern countryside of the key border town of Ra’s al-Ayn, al-Hasakah province, northeastern Syria, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by SANA)

“Turkish occupation forces have brought in reinforcements to Syrian territories all the way through the villages of Jan Tamr and Mutilla in the countryside of Ra’s al-Ayn, and set up posts in the areas which they have seized,” the state-run Syrian news agency noted.

Meanwhile, Syrian army forces beefed up their deployment in Um al- Harmala village north of Abu Rasin town on Sunday.

Syrian army units are seen in Um al- Harmala village, north of Abu Rasin town, northern Syrian, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by SANA)

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow will run joint patrols around the area.

The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.

On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push YPG militants from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

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