In the afternoon of April 28, the Tabqah crossing, which links the government-held areas with the territories controlled by the self-administration in northeastern Syria, witnessed unusually tensions between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to a report by the North Press Agency, units of the SDF attempt to dig a deep trench near the crossing. This uncoordinated move provoked a response from the SAA, that advanced towards some positions in a nearby empty area known as Hawrat al-Jriat.
The crossing, which was established in August of 2017, was closed after this incident. Attack Helicopters of the US-led coalition were also seen flying over the crossing.
“Three Apache helicopters and anther military helicopter have been flying since the morning in the skies of Tabqah and its southern countryside,” the North Press Agency’s reporter said, while suggesting that the four helicopters were trying to intimidate the SAA.
The incident was exaggerated by many pro-government news outlets, including the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV, which claimed that the SAA “took control of” Hawarat al-Jriat. The empty area was not controlled by the SDF or any other side, according to several sources.
The Tabqah crossing is expected to be reopened within a few days, if not hours. The SAA and the SDF will likely avoid any military confrontation, despite the provocations of the US-led coalition.