On October 27, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that they have started withdrawal from the Turkish border in the framework of the de-escalation zone agreement reached by Presidents Erdogan and Putin. The SDF said that Syrian border guards will be deployed along the border. The group also called on Russia to help launch “a constructive dialogue” between the SDF-run self-administration in northeast Syria and the Damascus government.
The Turkish Defense Ministry announced that on the same day a Turkish soldier was killed and 5 others were injured in an attack by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which are the key faction within the SDF. According to the Turkish version of events, the soldiers were patrolling the area, when they came under shelling.
The SDF and Turkish-led forces regularly accuse each other of violating the ceasefire established by the safe zone agreement. Despite this, the situation in northeastern Syria has more or less stabilized.
Units of the Syrian Army reached the Turkish border east of Ras al-Ayn, where Turkish forces are deployed, and no violations were reported there. Government troops also reinforced its positions to the west of the Turkish-controlled zone. Patrols of the Russian Military Police, reinforced by Tiger and Typhoon armoured vehicles, are being carried near Kobani, west of Qamishly and along the M4 highway to the east of the Euphrates.
US forces withdrawn to western Iraq are returning to Syria. On October 26, 27 and 28, US military convoys consisting of dozens of military vehicles and fuel tracks, entered the country and moved towards the Omar oil fields area. A part of these forces was stationed at the Qasrak base on the Tell Tamr-Qamishli highway.
Therefore, despite the announced troop withdrawal, US forces are in fact remaining not only on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, but also in eastern Syria.