Russian Forces Reopen Strategic M4 Highway in Northern Syria
Russian military police reopened the strategic M4 highway in northern Syria on Monday allowing civilians to travel between Tal Tamr and Manbij for the first time in seven months. The highway connects towns west of the Euphrates river to other towns in northeastern Syria.
The M4 highway was captured last year by Turkey-backed opposition fighters.
“The international highway has become officially open with Russian guarantee, and Russian patrols will run daily, except for Friday, to track movement on the road and prevent any military provocations, in coordination with the civil administration in Tal Tamr,” a Russian military official told Russia Today.
The M4 highway stretches from the Syrian border with Iraq’s border town of Rabia in the northeast to Latakia city in Syria’s coastal northwest, passing through Qamishli, Tal Tamr, Ain Issa, Manbij, al-Bab, and Aleppo.
Meanwhile, provocative acts continued between US forces and their Russian counterparts in what has become a familiar scene in Syria’s northeastern region.
According to eye witnesses, US armored vehicles tried to block Russian vehicles on the M4 road before arriving in the area of Tal Tamr.
Moreover, Russian soldiers alighted from their vehicles and headed towards the US armored vehicles, which blocked their way at the western entrance to Tal Tamer.
Five US armored vehicles were stationed on the M4, waiting for Russian vehicles to prevent them from passing on the road.
The Russian column consisting of about 30 military vehicles passed through the town of Mabrouka, which is under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions, to Ain Issa, north of Raqqa.
Millions of people in the northeast of Syria are coping with fighting, destroyed infrastructure and lack of critical basic services, on top of the global COVID-19 crisis that has also hit the region.