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Russian Forces Expand Presence In Syria’s Ain Issa Amid Clashes Between SDF And Turkish Proxies

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Russian Forces Expand Presence In Syria’s Ain Issa Amid Clashes Between SDF And Turkish Proxies

A Russian soldier gestures during a patrol near the Syrian and Turkish border in north Syria on Friday. Oct. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)

On December 24, the Russian Military Police established a new position in the vicinity of the town of Ain Issa. The town is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the new position was built south of Ain Issa which is located in the northern Raqqa countryside.

The new Russian position was established amid heavy clashes between the SDF and Turkish-backed militants north of Ain Issa. Earlier today, Turkish forces resumed their strikes on the town.

“Clashes between the SDF on one side and factions loyal to Turkey on the other renewed in the axes of the villages of Jahbal and al-Musharrafa, amid an exchange of rocket strikes,” the SOHR said in a report.

The Russian Military Police was deployed in northeastern Syria in October of 2019 to observe a ceasefire reached after a Turkish attack on the region. A coordination and operations center was established in Ain Issa. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) also established a number of posts around the town.

Earlier this month, a Russian brokered agreement saw the SAA and the SDF establishing three joint observation posts north, east and west of Ain Issa.

The Russian-Syrian military buildup in Ain Issa is meant to deter Turkish forces, which are eyeing the town. Last week, Ankara-backed militants attacked the town. The attack, however, was a failure.

Turkish forces are allegedly preparing a large-scale attack on Ain Issa. The SDF, which is running out of options, may eventually agree to hand the town over to the SAA.


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The Russian-Syrian military buildup in Ain Issa is meant to deter Turkish forces, which are eyeing the town.



That’s nice move from Putin and Erdogan to lower the credibility of US military. Same tactic they applied in Kavkasus and Lybia towards Western forces.


The SDF’s choice has actually become extremely simple and quite binary now : either surrender the town and keep some kind of residual, political and/or administrative control on it, or loose it entirely to Turkish and/or proxies.

Once again their shortsighted and unintelligent all-out bet on Washington proved doomed to yet another geopolitical failure that directly harms their dying Rojava project. May it finally start triggering some alarms bells in their higher circles of command and leadership so that more pragmatic factions get higher sway in phases to come and drastically re-calibrate their relationship with both Moscow and Damascus.

Most importantly they crucially need to gradually drop their systematic refusal at any compromise with the Syrian gov’t, while the latter still happens to technically own the area as a national entity and not some artificial quasi-state doped with foreign-trained and supplied paramilitary forces using illegal oil trade for funding.

Willing Conscience (The Truths

Reports today say about 100 SAA troops have also arrived in Ain Issa along with Russian military police, so the Russians are getting serious and keeping up the pressure on the SDF. But another report today also claims coalition aircraft have been circling the town of Tall Tamir as well, so the carrot and stick approach may not work after all, not if the US are offering air support to the SDF, and I think that’s exactly what they’re doing when they fly over combat hotspots. They did it the last time the Turks attacked Tall Tamir and it stopped them dead in their tracks, so just simple US fly overs were enough to stop the Turks at Tall Tamir. Tall Tamir is located near the eastern side of the Turkish safe zone and has been suffering the same treatment as Ain Issa for the last few days, the Turks bomb the outskirts of the SDF held areas and terrorize the civilians in the process, but the US doesn’t put up with it like the Russians do, they send in their warplanes to deter the terrorists, put pressure on Erdogan, and also reassure the SDF. The Russian on the other hand use blackmail to get what they want, the carrot and stick approach, but for me personally I think that never works whenever there’s an alternative option, and soon the SDF will have a very viable alternative option, and that options called president Biden. Trump hated the Kurds and desperately wanted to pull the US out of Syria, but when Biden takes over things will reverse to a pre Trump standing, Biden will actively support the SDF and also fortify the US’s strongholds in Syria, he’ll also ramp up the reconstruction phase and increase social/humanitarian aid, and more importantly he’ll throw a spanner in Russia’s finely tuned machine at every opportunity he gets, so Russia’s window of opportunity is quickly narrowing, only 26 days to go. Trump was a Godsend for both Russia and Syria but Biden will be nothing but a petulance, Russia should be able to withstand anything Biden throws at them but I fear Syria won’t be able to do the same, I think things will get even harder for Syria soon, I miss Trump already.

Jet Guy

That sounds hunky dory, if it weren’t for one inconvenient fact, the Turks. It was Turkey that forced the issue of the US withdrawing as the Turkish tanks swept in. Biden is not going to get into a shooting war with the Turks any more than Trump did.

The only reason the Kurds have anything left at all of their ‘Rojava’ is due to the Russians, not hardly the US. Your narrative is like the hollywood dreamers that imagine that the US defeated the Germans. The Kurds have already lost Afrin and that entire border strip where the Turks agreed to halt as per the deal with the Russians. If it wasn’t for that deal, the Turks would have the whole thing.

As for the Turks being deterred by US overflights,well, they may do that…until they don’t. And what then? Is Joe Biden going to fire on the Nato member Turks? For the sake of the Kurds? For whom nobody gives on whit anyway, since the real objective is simply to cut a piece off Syria.

Here is the REALITY. The Kurds don’t like that the Russians aren’t offering them their Rojava, like the US is. But the US is in no position to deliver, because it would have to literally be OVER TURKEY’S DEAD BODY.

Anyway, the fun is just starting in the US. Something like 10 trillion will have been printed by the time the year is out, and there’s no telling if even that [or more printing yet] is going to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Uncle Joe Biden is not inheriting the same rolling-in-dough US of the Obama administration. At some point, these costly imperial adventures will be something that can not be charged to the maxed out plastic. All Syria need do is to wait. Same as Iraq, same as Afghanistan. If anybody sees anything else other than the US packing up and going home with its tail between its legs, and nothing to show for the 20 years of Excellent Adventures, then they are dreaming in disneycolor.

Willing Conscience (The Truths

You’re so wrong about everything. Trump used the Turks to scare the Kurds into submission when he made that deal with Erdogan, but when Erdogan pushed the agreement and went beyond the terms he’d agreed upon, the US swiftly lumped Turkey with a new batch of sanctions, and Turkish advances stopped IMMEDIETLY, then the Turks returned to their designated zones of operations and haven’t moved an inch since then. The US doesn’t need guns to stop Turkey, they have far better tools than guns for that. Just remember Trump always wanted the SDC/SDF to reconcile with the Syrian Government, he’s never been opposed to that happening, he want’s to get out and let them sort it out themselves. Trump first told the Kurds to reconcile with Assad way back at the end of 2017, he told them he was going to pull the US out of Syria and they should work out an arrangement with Assad. And Lavrov even admitted late last year or earlier this year that the Kurds were poised to make a reconciliation agreement with the Government just before the Turks invaded eastern Syria, but after the Turks invaded they called off the deal. I reposted his statement on SF.

Here’s the reality you’ve missed, Russia and Iran are already handing the Syrian Democratic Council [US autonomous Government] the right to stay an independent autonomous Government, and they’re also allowing the Syrian Interim Government that Turkey supports to possibly do the same, that’s if they can’t take over the Government outright during the election process. Resolution 2254 does exactly the same thing you’re accusing the US of doing, dividing Syria, the Russians and Iranians may be pretending they’re helping Assad retain Syrian sovereignty, but behind the scenes resolution 2254 is dividing the country far more effectively than the terrorists ever could.

And Afrin was Russia’s zone of control, the US gave Turkey nothing there, the Russians and Turks made a Memorandum of Understanding and divided the area up between themselves, the US had nothing to do with that sorry turn of events. in fact Putin was solely responsible for that traitorous act, if it wasn’t for his collusion with Erdogan the SAA may have been able to help the Kurds repel the Turkish advance. Here’s what the Wiki has to say about that stab in the back from Putin.

“On 19 February, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the Syrian government had reached a deal with the YPG in Afrin.[107] Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu responded that they welcomed Syrian forces if they wanted to fight the YPG, stating, “If so, there is no problem. However, if they are entering [Afrin] to protect YPG/PKK, nobody can stop the Turkish army”. Nuri Mahmoud, a YPG spokesman, told Al-Jazeera that they had called on pro-Syrian government forces “to preserve a united Syria” but added they hadn’t arrived yet.[108] However, a while later, Nuri denied they had reached an agreement with the Syrian government.[109]

On 20 February, Turkish President Erdoğan stated that Turkey had thwarted the possible deployment of pro-Syrian government forces into the Afrin area after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the situation in Afrin could be resolved through direct dialogue between Damascus and Ankara.[110] On the same day, the TFSA linked the Bulbul area with Azaz, after capturing the Deir al-Sawan village.[111]

Later on 20 February, pro-Syrian government militias calling themselves the “Popular Forces” entered YPG-held Afrin.[112] The Baqir Brigade, part of the Local Defence Forces (LDF) militia network, announced that it would be leading those forces.[3] A convoy of pro-Syrian government troops entered the region to support the YPG, but was hit by Turkish forces, who fired “warning shots”. Anadolu Agency stated that pro-Syrian government troops withdrew 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Afrin town because of the warning shots. SANA confirmed Turkish artillery involvement but didn’t mention any retreat.[113] President Erdoğan said that the militias were repelled by Turkish artillery, adding that the convoy consisted of “terrorists” who acted independently. He also stated, “Unfortunately, these kind of terror organizations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. It is not possible for us to allow this. They will pay a heavy price.”[114]

Like most people who comment on SF you have absolutely no idea what your talking about, you have no knowledge of what’s happened historically, or what’s really happening now, and most importantly what’s about to happen”.

LOL, the US is still printing money and until they stop doing it they’ll have an advantage over everyone, no one can stop them doing it and they wont stop themselves. When people stop using petro dollars and stop trading in US currency things will change but until then they wont. Putin and China and a few others don’t use US dollars anymore but many others still do, and they still borrow money from the IMF/world bank instead of using the Chinese/Russian alternative, so the US still has a long way to go before it’s end of Empire time.

Jet Guy

You’re talking a lot of gibberish, and I don’t have time to educate you on the basic facts of the Syria conflict. The fact is that the SDF has repeatedly REFUSED to cooperate with the Syrian government and Russia. This has resulted in the Turks mounting three operations in three years, Operation Euphrates Shield in 2017, Olive Branch in 2018, and Peace Spring in 2019. In each instance the Turks offered a deal to the SDF to put those territories under control of the Syrian govt and with Russian guarantee. The Kurds refused each time and got driven out. US did absolutely nothing to help the Kurds stop those THREE Turkish invasions. As for Russia and Iran supposedly agreeing to the Kurds having their own state, that is patently FALSE. There is a UNSC Resolution that reaffirms the TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY of Syria, so that is international law. Syria is willing to give the Kurds some autonomy in their region, but they refuse. The US cannot give the Kurds their own state, but they continue to promise them that, leading to one disaster after another, such as those three Turkish invasions in the last three years.

Willing Conscience (The Truths

The Kurds were being slaughtered by Isis and Assad had no way to help them, so Russia should’ve stepped up to the plate but it didn’t, which then gave the US an opportunity to fill the gap and they did, and then Obama promised the Kurds everything they’ve ever dreamed of, and sadly here we are now. You blame the Kurds but I blame Putin, if Putin did something to stop the Isis invasion of Syria none of this would’ve happened, Isis wouldn’t have created the mayhem they did, the US wouldn’t had an excuse to invade and repel Isis, and the Turks wouldn’t had the same excuse to first invade northern Syria either, and only a blind monkey couldn’t see Isis was about to invade Syria from Iraq. Putin’s refusal to adequately help Syria are the reasons the Kurds are in the position they are now, and the US, and Turkey too, Putin may be saving Syria now but he’s only saving Syria from the mistakes he made at the beginning, and mistakes he’s still making now by promoting resolution 2254 as the only answer to Syria’s current problems. The Turks used Isis as an excuse to invade,

“On 27 March 2014 an audio tape recording of high-level Turkish officials discussing Turkey’s Syria strategy was released on YouTube. The officials discussed a false flag operation that would lead to an invasion of Syria. YouTube was subsequently blocked in Turkey.[261] A vote in the Turkish Parliament was scheduled for October 1, 2014 on whether or not to invade Syria as part of the war on ISIL.[262] while preparations for a possible intervention were made.[263] It was later delayed a day. The de facto “declaration of war” took the form of two separate motions, one on Iraq and one on Syria, which would authorize Turkish troops to invade those countries.[264] the opposition said they hadn’t been able to read either motion, as the exact text had been delayed. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said that the gist of the resolutions was to extend the current mandate for “hot pursuit” against the PKK and Syrian Army into Syria and Iraq, which was to end the second week in October, to add the Islamic State to the list, and to set up a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border.[265] President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the parliamentary session by saying that Turkey would fight against the Islamic State and other “terrorist” groups in the region, but would stick to its aim of seeing Bashar al-Assad removed from power.[266] After two days of heated debate, the motion passed 298–98.[267]”


You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, resolution 2254 which Russia, Iran, and Turkey proposed to the UNSC way back in 2015 was passed unanimously, and Assad refused to accept that resolution for nearly 5 years. And that’s despite the fact Russia and Iran have been strongly and constantly been urging him to accept THEIR proposal, 16 Astana agreements were made during that 4.75 years. Assad said he wouldn’t accept resolution 2254 because it gave the opposition parties that Turkey was supporting an effective 50% say in rewriting the Syrian constitution, it also gave the Turkish backed opposition forces a 50% voice in the next election, and Assad has said he would never accept those terms because it would just put the Muslim brotherhood in charge of the legally recognized Syrian opposition Government. But then late last year the UN/US made Assad another offer, they told him they would amend the old Russian/Iranian/Turkish resolution to better suite Assad’s objections and needs. Instead of a 50% say the opposition were limited to a 33% say [50 of 150 committee members rewriting the constitution instead of 75/75], and Assad was given veto rights to dismiss any opposition figure he didn’t want included, and independent social/scientific/economic/trade/medical institutions were added to the 150 committee member small table talks. Which meant the small table committee that was rewriting the Syrian constitution would have 50 opposition figures, 50 independent figures [that Assad approves of], and 50 members from the Syrian Government. Assad accepted that new UN proposal the very same day they made it, not a week later or the day after it was made, he said yes the very same day the UN proposed it, and that’s after saying no to his own allies Russia and Iran for 5 years, but he didn’t even take a full day to say yes to the new UN offer. 2 weeks ago the UN was thanking Iran for it’s help in promoting resolution 2254 and a few days later the Iranian foreign minister went to Syria to speed things up, and Turkey and Russia are both busily organizing the reopening of the M4 highway and organizing joint patrols and safe zones. So both Russia and Iran as well as Turkey are all busily doing everything they can to speedily implement the resolution that you, the Turks/Russians/Iranians all say will help preserve Syria’s sovereignty, but I’m not so sure about that, I listen to what Assad’s said during the last 5 years and he doesn’t agree, and despite the fact he accepted this new and better version of the resolution, he’s still doing everything he can to stall the process. The opposition groups who are currently rewriting the Syrian constitution just released a statement that predicted they wouldn’t be able to get the new constitution rewritten before the next election, and they blamed Assad’s stalling tactics for the delay, I wonder why Assad’s still stalling if this resolution’s supposed to preserve Syria’s sovereignty instead of destroy it.

You should do 3 things, First research exactly what the new resolution 2254 really says and allows in it’s amendments, Then find the original version that Turkey, Russia and Iran first proposed, and then compare it to the new one, then decide which you think is better [Assad hated the old one and dislikes the new one], Then you should find out what Assad says about resolution 2254 [SANA news is the best source], and also find out what the opposition groups who are rewriting the constitution have to say about Assad’s participation in the process. What all the pro Russian and pro Iranian supporters have to explain is this, why has Assad refused to accept their version of resolution 2254 for nearly 5 years, and yet he accepted the new UN proposal the VERY SAME DAY IT WAS MADE. Why didn’t Assad accept the TUKISH, IRANIAN, RUSSIAN version of resolution 2254 if his allies were really helping him retain sovereignty, yet amazingly he accepted a new UN version immediately. Assad’s smart because he chose the lesser of 2 evils, now he’s no longer just stalling his allies Russia and Iran, now he’s stalling his enemies Turkey and the US as well, LOL, he’s a genius. Resolution 2254 in both it’s old and current version are the devil in disguise, and Assad’s allies Russia and Iran, as well as his enemy Turkey, are all trying to force Assad into implementing the resolution, but Assad’s still doing everything he can to stall the process, don’t any of the pro Russian/Iranian supporters ever wonder why.

You say I talk gibberish, mmm, but everything I just said is 100% correct, so if you can disprove just one thing I’ve said in this comment, I’ll promise to never comment on SF again, you won’t have to put up with my gibberish ever again, and the offers an open one, anyone at all can chip in if they want to disprove any of my assertions. I think I know more about current events in Syria than you probably know about yourself.

Jet Guy

Look, I don’t have time for someone this badly informed on VERY BASIC facts of the Syrian conflict. First the UNSC resolution. This resolution says NOTHING about any kind of percentage for opposition. I suggest you read the actual text first, before arguing with knowledgeable people.

Things that you are talking about as to the details of the political settlement is what was being carried on under the so-called UN Syrian Peace Process, and specifically the ‘Geneva Format’ led by UN envoy Steffan de Mistura. This process became irrelevant because De Mistura and his backers in the west were clearly setting unrealistic conditions that Assad could not accept, like the amount of representation for the so-called ‘opposition’ groups that you mentioned. That has NOTHING to do with the UNSC resolution, which is BINDING international law.

The Astana process came about as a result of RUSSIA, and this process basically sidelined the failed UN de Mistura process. no big surprise and no big deal, since that UN ‘process’ means diddly squat. It’s not a UNSC Resolution.

Now as to ISIS. US was operating in Syria long before Russia came in in 2015. And what happened? We all saw those endless lines of ISIS tanker trucks snaking their way across Syria to Turkey. They were visible from satellites for chrissakes. And all that time, US was supposedly ‘fighting ISIS’. Then as soon as the Russians cam in in 2015, they put a quick stop to that business, bombing the crap out of those convoys until not a single truck was left. I guess the US just didn’t see those tanker trucks?

After that Russia helped free Aleppo city of the terrorists and fought side by side with the SAA to liberate Deir Ezzor from guess who? ISIS.

Meanwhile what has the US been doing? They were supposedly ‘fighting’ ISIS, yet without any visible results. They were also propping up the separatist Kurdish YPG which refused to cooperate with Damascus. How could the Russians possibly ‘help’ them? Promise them their own country?

Look, the bottom line is that the US position is laughable. Really really laughable. They are in Syria ILLEGALLY. The Syrian government has asked them to leave and they refuse [just like in Iraq]. They are supporting the Kurds and promising them their own state, which they cannot deliver, neither under international law, nor even by force of arms’ it’s just not going to happen. They are illegally preventing Syria from accessing its own energy resources. And they are simply spectators while the SAA continues to take back its territory, for instance they have cut the terrorist-held Idlib territory in half, and appear to be gearing up for liberating the remaining half.

The Kurds have seen their stupidity result in having half their territory seized by the Turks. And still they fail to come to their senses. And what happens when the US inevitably leaves? Well, they will get bupkus. Syria is not happy about the Turkish invasions and land grabs. But the Kurds COULD HAVE prevented all that, had they simply taken the deal that the Turks were offering; give control to the Syrian govt and there is no problem.

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