On February 16, Hussain Murtada, a correspondent of the Iranian al-Alam TV, reported that a reconnaissance unit of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had entered the Afrin area under an agreement, which had been supposedly reached by the Damascus government and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Murtada’s report is still not confirmed by any officials of the Damascus government or the YPG. However, pro-government sources said that the National Defense Forces (NDF) units of the city of al-Safira [ located in southern Aleppo] are preparing to enter the Afrin area upon orders from the SAA general command.
Meanwhile, the YPG’s media adviser Rezan Hido said in an interview to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV that the SAA is welcomed to deploy its troops anywhere it wants in the Afrin area. However, he didn’t confirm reports that Damascus and the YPG had reached the agreement regarding Afrin.
Al-Mayadeen reported on February 15 that Damascus and the YPG had reached an agreement that allows the SAA to deploy its troops in the Kurdish-held area. Later on February 16, al-Mayadeen’s correspondent in Afrin said that the SAA is preparing to enter the area.
It’s unknown yet if Turkey is somehow engaged through Russia in the supposed Damascus-YPG agreement regarding Afrin. Syrian sources believe that clashes in Afrin will intensify if Turkey is not a part of the supposed agreement.