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The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) carried out a new attack on Turkish-backed forces in the region of Afrin. According to the YPG, 4 members of Turkish-backed groups were killed by the YPG in the village of Mariam.
This was the first YPG attack in Afrin, which become public in October. In September, the Kurdish group carried out about 20 attacks. Most of them took place in the first part of the month.
The decrease of the YPG military activity in the region of Afrin is most likely linked to additional security measures employed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their proxies.
On October 9, President Bashar al-Assad issued the legislative decree No. 18 for 2018 granting a general amnesty for military deserters inside and outside the country. This amnesty does not include fugitives from justice unless they turn themselves in within 4 months for those inside the country and 6 months for those outside the country.
This development is another step by the Damascus government aimed at supporting the reconciliation process in the war-torn country. It may also impact positively on the return of the Syrian refugees from the nearby states.
Moscow has information on the attempts to re-deploy terrorists from Syria’s Idlib to Iraq but these actions are being cut off, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on October 10. He added that “Iraq is dealing with that and it clearly does not need extra terrorists”.
Iran, Syria and Russia have repeatedly voiced concern on redeployment of members of terrorist groups, mostly ISIS and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra). Reports about helicopters of the US-led coalition evacuating ISIS members from the province of Deir Ezzor to the coalition’s bases appear in the Syrian state-run media on a constant basis.
It is interesting to note that the Russian Foreign Ministry has also pointed out activity of “unidentified helicopters” in Afghanistan, where they provide supplies and other logistic support to ISIS members.
The US-led bloc is actively denying these reports denouncing them as “misinformation” and “propaganda. Nonetheless, according to multiple experts and security sources, at least a part of ISIS members successfully redeployed from the Syria-Iraq battleground to Afghanistan and Libya.