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Russian Army Establishes Military Base in Syria’s Ain Issa

Russian Army Establishes Military Base in Syria’s Ain Issa

Wednesday, 9 December, 2020 - 09:15
A fighter of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) carries a weapon as he stands near a military vehicle in Raqqa, Syria. (Reuters)

Russia police forces were deployed in new military positions in Ain Issa in Raqqa’s northern countryside, along the areas separating the Turkish army from the pro-regime Syrian factions and the Arab-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

They established a military base inside the town’s center in time with the arrival of reinforcements for the Syrian forces.

Moscow gave the SDF a two-day period to withdraw its military forces from the vicinity of the M4 highway and requested that they also withdraw from Ain Issa, while maintaining a security presence at the administration's institutions and offices.

The SDF rejected the Russian deadline and the military handover of the area to government forces, according to senior leader in the SDF-controlled Ain Issa Military Council.

An official from Ain Issa’s civil administration said Russians have requested the establishment of a military base and the deployment of their forces along contested regions, significantly in villages and areas that have been shelled since early December.

They asked the SDF to evacuate the military area in exchange for the Syrian army’s deployment to prevent any further Turkish attacks and threats, the official stated.

The Russians have repeatedly requested raising the Syrian flag, reopening state institutions and establishing a military post inside the town.

Meanwhile, Russian military reinforcements have arrived at their base in Tal Saman village in Raqqa’s northern countryside. These included vehicles carrying military equipment, soldiers and heavy weapons.

The reinforcements were sent after Turkish demands to hand over the area to its loyal Syrian factions.

Ain Issa has been the target for several days now of violent attacks by the Turkish army and its loyal factions.

According to citizens who fled to Raqqa and the neighboring Tabqa town, the area was targeted with artillery shells.

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