On April 20, a delegation of the Russian Military Police and the Syrian military held a meeting with Sheikh Mahmod al-‘Akub, leader of the al-Harb tribe, near the city of al-Qamishli in northern al-Hasakah.
Local sources said Sheikh al-‘Akub invited the delegation to the meeting. The two sides held lengthy talks. However, no statement was released.
Al-Harb is one of the biggest Arab tribes in al-Qamishli countryside. Sheikh Mahmod al-‘Akub is known for his ties with Damascus. Last year, al-‘Akub was among a tribal delegation which visited Tehran, allegedly to coordinate against U.S. forces in northeast Syria.
The meeting with the Russian delegation provoked some opposition supporters from the al-Harb tribe, who issued a statement condemning it.
In the last few months, locals in al-Qamishli countryside began working to restrict the movement of U.S. forces in the region. The locals intercepted many U.S. convoys in cooperation with the Syrian military.
The Russian meeting with al-Harb tribe’s leader was likely meant to solidify bilateral relations. It is logical for Arabs in northeast Syria to see Russian presence as a counter weight for U.S. forces, which are partnered with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
MORE ON THIS TOPIC: