The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) established on December 6 new posts in the northern al-Hasakah countryside, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
“Syrian Arab Army units established new positions on the international [M4] al-Hasakah-Aleppo highway near Lilyan, west of [the town of] Tell Tamr,” the state-run news agency’s reporter in al-Hasakah said.
A few hours after establishing the positions, militants of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) attacked SAA troops. The attack was immediately repelled, according to the Syrian state TV.
The SAA has been working with the Russian Military Police and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to secure the M4 highway, which links al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Aleppo.
In the upcoming few days, the army is expected to enter the key town of al-Mabrukah near the highway as a part of a recent Russian-Turkish agreement. Turkish-backed militants have already withdrawn from the town’s electricity substation.
Securing the M4 is critical for the stability of Syria’s northeastern region. Once completely secured, the highway will become a separation line between Turkish-backed militants and Kurdish forces in the region.