On Sunday, the head of the political office of Liwa’ muetasim, Mustafa Saijari, denied that Liwa’ muetasim handed over any of its positions around Mara’a village in the norther Aleppo countryside to the Russian Military Police.
Liwa’ muetasim is one of the major Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups operating within the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield Force in northern Syria.
Some pro-government sources have claimed that Liwa’ muetasim and other FSA groups will hand over its positions on the Azaz-Aleppo highway and around Mara’a village. According to the reports, the aim of the deal is to open a direct road from the government-held area to Tukey in order to pressure the Kurdish-held Afrin city.
Although the Russian Military Police didn’t take any positions from the FSA, it did deploy in many areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) around Afrin in the last few days.
Furthermore, Kurdish sources claimed that a direct road between Manbij and Afrin will be opened soon. However, it’s unlikely that the Kurdish claims are true. Civilians can already move freely between Manbij and Afrin throw the government-held area.
The Russian Military Police was deployed in Afrin area mostly to de-escalate the situation between the SDF and the Euphrates Shield Force. It’s in the Russian interest for sure to keep all sides in Syria focused on fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda.