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Russia deescalated clash between pro-Syrian, Turkish-backed forces near al-Bab

By Rudaw 10/2/2017
Pro-Syrian government forces walk in the northern province of Aleppo. Photo: AFP
Pro-Syrian government forces walk in the northern province of Aleppo. Photo: AFP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Russia stepped in to stop fighting between Syrian-backed government forces and Turkish-backed opposition forces in northern Syria as both sides converge on the ISIS-held city of al-Bab, according to multiple sources.

"Rebels shot to warn them not to get any closer, but the tank responded and a clash erupted," a rebel source told Reuters on Friday speaking about Thursday’s clash. "Later on Russia intervened to calm down the situation. This whole incident felt like a test.”

The Observatory reported the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) clashed with regime forces southwest of al-Bab, “amid mutual bombardment from both sides,” the conflict monitor wrote. 

“The Russians intervened to control the situation,” Reuters reported an official fighting in support of the government as saying.

The incident is the first reported between the Syrian- and Turkish-backed factions.

Russia and Turkey have backed opposing sides in the nearly six-year-long Syrian civil war, while sharing a common foe in ISIS. Turkey has primarily backed the FSA, while Syria has been supported by the Iranian-backed militias including Lebanese Hezbollah and the Russian military. 

Over the last month, Ankara and Moscow began verbally cooperating, attempting to broker a truce between government loyalists and rebels in Astana; however, the ceasefires haven’t held and have lacked a working enforcement mechanism.  

After a Russian warplane struck and killed three Turkish military members near al-Bab on Thursday, the Russian Defence Ministry told TASS news that the countries "agreed on closer coordination of joint efforts as well as on exchange of information on the situation on the ground.”


Dutchman | 11/2/2017
If the US is the police agent of the world, than Russia is the highest mafia buss in the world. The wants to lead an evil coalition of mass murderers with Assad, Erdogan and Khamenei. Like all other criminals they will put a knife in each others back when they get a good opportunity.
Jake | 11/2/2017
It is not Russia and Putin but Iran who will decide how the Syrian civil war will end. Putin wants to show that he's the big kid on the block but it is the clergy in Tehran who hold his leash.The fact that Trump is sidelining Iran simply means that the Syrian civil war will go on until he's defeated in 2020 election. And Turkey will do whatever it takes to screw Kurds.
How come | 11/2/2017
How come Russian can stop Syrian regime fro attacking turkey back FSA but cannot stop Syrian regime from breaking the truce with the rebels. That show that the truce are another weapon to fool the rebel and turkey to give Syrian breathing space and enable Syrian army to relocate to Aleppo to finish the battle in Aleppo. That is what truce is all about.
duroi | 12/2/2017
YPG missed the opportunity to link Afrin and Manbaj through a Qabasin corridor by focusing wrongly on al-Bab. The other opportunity is for Kurds to open a corridor from Rojava to Jordan through under-populated Syrian desert areas (east of Raqqa or east of Dair Zor). If they don't miss the chance again by wrongly wasting time on Raqqa or Deir Zor. Such a vital corridor will benefit both Rojava and KRG (if they can put aside their differences).

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