Russian military police withdrew from their base in the northern city of Ain Isa on February 21, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
A supervisory group based in London claims that Russian troops withdrew to the city of Tel Samn, south of Ain Isa. Russian flags were lowered at the base, where several liaison officers of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are still present.
Earlier, Turkish forces shelled the area around Ain Isa in a new escalation. Militants supported by the Turks managed to destroy one SDF bulldozer in the attack.
Russia’s withdrawal from Ain Ise has yet to be confirmed. Several units of the Syrian Arab Army are still deployed in their positions around the city.
Earlier, the SOHR announced that Russian forces withdrew from one of their positions near the city of Tel Tamr, under the control of the SDF, in the north of al-Hasaka. However, the monitoring group acknowledged that the “withdrawal” was a mere maneuver to put pressure on the SDF.
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The situation around Ain Isa is far from stable. Turkish forces have been shelling the city and its surroundings for several months.
Last year, Russia warned the SDF of an attack on Ayn Isa, led by the Turks, and asked a group led by the Kurds to hand over the city to the Damascus government. However, the group refused.
The alleged Russian withdrawal from Ain Ise could be aimed at putting pressure on the SDF, which is not cooperating with Syrian government forces as it should.
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