U.S. forces had prevented a patrol of the Russian Military Police from reaching the vital Simalka border crossing between northeastern Syria and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on July 16.
The Russian patrol consisting of six vehicles set off from al-Qamishli city in northern al-Hasakah. U.S troops stopped the patrol near the town of al-Malikiyah.
“[U.S. forces] cut the road again near the town of Sukhr Khaj and the junction of the town of Rubariyah … U.S. forces also deployed checkpoints on the road leading to the crossing,” the SOHR’s report reads.
Over the past few months, U.S. forces prevented a number of Russian patrols from reaching the Simalka border crossing and the oil-rich area of Rmelan.
Simalka is the main border crossing between northeastern Syria and Iraq. Most of the U.S.-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces’ supplies pass through this crossing. Logistic convoys enter the northeast across Simalka on a regular basis.
The U.S. is panicking over Russian growing influence in northeastern Syria. Washington is trying to restrict the movement of Russian forces in the region, especially in the northeastern countryside of al-Hasakah.