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Syrian Army Continues To Move Farther into Northeastern Syria

Oct. 15, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Syrian Arab Army is continuing to move into northeastern Syria and bringing heavy weapons, including tanks, along with it. This includes Manbij, where the SAA has now replaced U.S. troops that evacuated the town less than a day earlier. While the Syrian Army is expected to deploy to Kobani, which is the border almost directly north of Manbij—their troops have yet to travel to this border city, reported Al Masdar, likely to secure their position before crossing the Euphrates and moving north. Al Masdar reported separately that the reason for the quick deployment to Manbij was due to reports of an imminent Turkish military offensive to capture the city.

Syrian troops, also with tanks and other heavy weapons, have also arrived in Tabqa and Raqqa city after the U.S. military and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) withdrew from that area. Especially important is that Syrian authorities will take over the border crossing with Iraq in northeastern Syria. A Syrian Army source told Al Masdar the military will be jointly controlling the town of Al-Malkiyah on the border of Iraq as part of their ongoing agreement with the SDF in northern Syria.

“Bearing this in mind, local self-governments in the settlements of Manbij in the Aleppo governorate, al-Tabqa in the Raqqa governorate, Kalyshliah, and al-Hasakah in the Hasakah governorate have declared complete restoration of the Syrian Arab Republics sovereignty on their territories,” said Maj. Gen. Alexei Bakin, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, yesterday. “Representatives of the Agedat, Bu Shaaban, Abu Kemal, Albu Hassan tribes in the Deir Ezzor and Raqqa governorates applied to the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties asking to help restore Syria’s legitimate authorities and resolve humanitarian problems,” Bakin stated.

The Kurds who dominate the SDF are insisting that the deal with Damascus is only for security at the borders and does not affect the autonomous administration which will continue to function as it has until there’s a political agreement with the Syrian government. “There is an understanding between SDF and Damascus—a military agreement only,” Badran Jia Kurd, a senior Kurdish official, told Associated Press in an interview, during which he also indicated that he has been in talks with Russians since the start.

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