The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Russia establishes security zone north of Aleppo Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Russia establishes security zone north of Aleppo

Moscow has been one of the Syrian regime's main military backers. [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 September, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Russia's military on Wednesday said it had set up a security zone north of Aleppo to prevent clashes between Kurdish fighters and oppositions rebels.

Russia's military on Wednesday said it had set up a security zone north of Aleppo to prevent clashes between Kurdish fighters and oppositions rebels.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) said last month that Russian military observers would "deploy along multiple points" near Tal Rifaat to monitor and provide security.

"To prevent provocations and possible clashes between the Free Syrian Army in northern Syria and Kurdish militia, a de-confliction zone was created in Tal Rifaat district," senior Russian military officer Sergei Rudskoi told a briefing in Moscow.

Syrian regime forces replaced Kurdish armed groups who have now left the area, while a contingent of "Russian military police" was brought in and has set up checkpoints, Rudskoi added.

Around 400 people have returned to their homes in Tal Rifaat since the de-confliction zone was established.

Speaking a day after Syrian regime forces broke an Islamic State blockade of Deir az-Zour, Rudskoi said regime forces had "achieved serious success" in east and central Syria over the past two weeks.

Around 59 towns and villages had been freed from what the Russian officer called "terrorists", although it is unclear if he was referring to the Islamic State or other groups.

"The average speed of the advance by the government troops over the last three days was 15-20 kilometres (nine to 12 miles) a day," the commander of Russian forces in Syria, Sergei Surovikin, said at the briefing.

"The operation to liquidate the last major base of the terrorists in Syria is being completed," he said.

Russian warplanes carried out 2,687 airstrikes in support of the offensive over the past two weeks, he said.

Moscow has been one of the Syrian regime's main military backers, providing air support to Assad's forces since September 2015.

Under a so-called de-escalation plan approved in May by Russia, Turkey and Iran that applies to three areas of the country, the Syrian regime and rebels have agreed to cease hostilities, halt regime air raids and improve humanitarian access.

Russian military police are monitoring compliance at checkpoints around the three zones.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. 

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More