On May 23, a unit of the Russian Military Police was intercepted by U.S. forces while it was conducting a routine patrol around the town of Tell Tamr in northern al-Hasakah.
According to local sources, U.S. forces blocked the M4 highway with several armored vehicles, preventing the Russian unit from returning to its base in the border city of al-Qamishli. This forced the Russian patrol to take a longer route through the al-Darbasiyah-Amuda road.
Such incidents are quite common in northern al-Hasakah. Three days ago, Syrian Army personnel blocked a U.S. patrol near Tell Tamr. Prior to that, Russian forces intercepted a U.S. convoy east of al-Qamishli.
The Russian Military Police conduct patrols in Tell Tamr’s countryside on a regular basis. Now, the police are preparing to reopen a long strip of the M4 highway linking al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Aleppo on May 25.
U.S. forces are attempting to limit the movement of the Russian Military Police in northern al-Hasakah, especially near the M4. These provocations could foil the efforts to open the highway. Thousands of civilians in northeast Syria have been awaiting the reopening of the highway for more than six months now.