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SDF and Turkish Regime Seek to Overturn Understandings with Russia in Hassakeh

Turkey and the SDF are taking advantage of Russia's involvement in Ukraine to move in northeastern Syria, according to al-Watan.
Turkey SDF Russia
SDF and Turkish Regime Seek to Overturn Understandings with Russia in Hassakeh

Interpretations varied between the Turkish regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) concerning developments of the war in Ukraine. These diverging views were reflected in military movements in Hassakeh, in northeastern Syria. The movements form part of an effort to overturn understandings reached with Russia, as dictated by the parties’ own interests, and at the expense of each other. The moves responded to signals gleaned from the U.S. position on not explicitly changing the arrangement of fixed lines of control in the governorate since the incursion of the Turkish occupation army in October 2019. 

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SDF continued to tighten the noose on Syrian government-controlled areas in Qamishli city in the northeastern Hassakeh countryside and Qamishli airport, which houses a Russian airbase. SDF capitalized on Moscow’s preoccupation with the war. Meanwhile, the Turkish occupation army continued to install reinforcements stationed on the battlefronts on the outskirts of Tel Tamer district in northwest Hassakeh, after president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime sensed a lax view from the U.S. administration towards expanding Turkey’s spheres of influence at the expense of SDF militias east of the Euphrates River. 

Local sources in Qamishli told Al-Watan that tension swelled in the city as SDF’s so-called “Asayish forces” tried to continue their siege of the security zone under the control of the Syrian government in the city. SDF aimed to restrict some parts of the area after cutting off connecting roads so that they could continue to prevent the entry of food and flour, while also seizing the “Baath Bakery” — just as SDF did in the Hassakeh city center, where it has taken control over the only government bakery since last Saturday. SDF did so under the pretext of restricting the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafieh in Aleppo from the Syrian government, as well as permanently isolating the Qamishli airport from the city. 

According to the sources, the security situation and its repercussions in Qamishli and Hassakeh will become more evident after a meeting scheduled on Wednesday with Russia. The meeting aims to play the role of mediation with SDF leaders — the fourth of its kind held in recent days. The discussion is detailed in terms of resolving the humanitarian crisis that is severely ravaging many people’s lives. 

Elsewhere, the Turkish army continued its military reinforcements on the fronts of Tel Tamer for the third day in a row, establishing 11 military bases on the front lines. These lines extend between the towns of al-Manakh and al-Amiriya. The Turkish army provided troops with tanks, heavy artillery, rocket launchers, and modern weapons, in preparation for attacking the area. Such a decision fails to take into account the Sochi agreement with Russia in October 2019, which drew the region’s front lines. In early October, Moscow prevented aggression toward the Erdogan regime when it announced threats of military action toward areas under SDF militia control east of the Euphrates.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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