Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
On the 13th of October 2019, the SDF reached an agreement with the regime and Russia to deploy the “regime forces” on Syria’s border with Turkey, to stop the Turkish offensive which was launched under the name of “Peace Spring” Operation on 9th of the same month, and as the agreement between the Russians and the regime and SDF began to be carried out, the Vice President Mike Pence announced a temporary ceasefire, under which the SDF withdraw from the border area, followed by announcement by the Russian President Vladimir Putin for another truce, which leads to the withdrawal of “SDF” and the spread of the regime forces along the entire border between Syria and Turkey.
28 days have passed since the regime began deploying in areas they have not entered for nearly 7 years, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the “regime forces” spreading in the western countryside of Darbasiyah, Ayn Issa, and other areas north of it, in addition to the north of Abu Rasin (Zarkan) and areas between Qameshly and Qahtaniyah, and according to what the Syrian Observatory documented on the 6th of November 2019, the regime forces spread along the area from Qameshly to Qahtaniyah for the first time in 7 years, in a distance more than 20 km long according to a Russian – Turkish – American agreement, sources told the Syrian Observatory that the regime forces also deployed with military vehicles, soldiers, and military and logistical equipment in the eastern suburbs of Qameshly city for the first time since 2012, and according to what reliable sources informed the Syrian Observatory, the deployment was in accordance with a “Russian – Turkish – American” agreement, which leads to the spread of regime’s border guard, provided that a there must be a presence of the American Forces deep in that area, also the Syrian Observatory monitored the redeployment of the regime forces in the western countryside of Darbasiyah on the 5th of November 2019, after they withdrew from the area on the 30th of October 2019, reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that this deployment took place through more than 200 members armed with vehicles and heavy weapons, and they deployed in Qara Qermaniyyeh, Qirawan, Karabeshk, Shirik, Khirbet Haji Ibrahim, Hliwa, Arad, Dahr al-Arab, Kesra, Asadiyyeh, Tal Hermel, and other villages in the area north of Abu Rasin (Zarkan).
On October 28, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the regime forces completed their deployment along the border line connecting Amuda and Darbasiyah, in addition to Dahr al-Arab and Kasr east of Ras al-Ayn city, where they spread at border posts located in the above mentioned area in accordance with the Russian – Turkish agreement and the regime forces agreement with the SDF, as SDF continue their withdrawal from the area there, the Syrian Observatory published on the 27th of October that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the entry of the regime forces to Dahrat al-Arab village, and they established a security point and positioned inside the village near the Syrian – Turkish border north of al-Hasakah; on the road of Ras al-Ayn – al-Darbasiyah.
And despite regime forces’ deployments in different areas of the Syrian north, that deployment resulted in a fake control only and no base for it on the ground, where attacks of the Turkish Forces and their loyal factions continue to remain unchanged, the Syrian Observatory also monitored the outbreak of clashes directly between the Turkish Forces against the regime forces in several occasions, while the deployment of the regime forces did not result in any change in the battle equation and reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the regime forces rarely initiate a reaction against the Turkish Forces and their factions in their attacks, which they carry out against regime’s positions and positions of the Syria Democratic Forces.
On the 8th of November 2019, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored sporadic exchange of targeting with shells and heavy machine guns between the Ankara-loyal factions against the regime forces and the Syria Democratic Forces, in several places within the area connecting Tal Tamr and Abu Rasin, and on the 7th of November 2019, the Syrian Observatory monitored violent clashes between the regime forces and the Turkey-loyal factions in the same area, coincided with intense exchange of heavy shelling, amid airstrikes by the Turkish drones on Qasimiyah, Dawoudiyyeh, Mahmudiya, and Rihaniyya in Tal Tamr countryside.
Although the agreement between Russia and SDF requires the regime forces to deploy in the border areas to prevent the Turkish attacks, the Syrian Observatory monitored more than once the withdrawal of the regime forces from the battle areas; and their abandoning of the Syria Democratic Forces in facing the violent attacks carried out by the Turkish Forces and their loyal factions, where the Syrian Observatory learned on the 4th of November 2019 that the Syrian Observatory learned that the regime forces withdrew from Mashafah, Dawoudiyyeh, Qasimiyah, al-Dardarah, al-Arisha and other sites, leaving the Syria Democratic Forces alone in repelling the violent attack, which comes with the intensive ground support of tens of shells and missiles by the Turkish Forces, in addition to the flight of Turkish drones over the zone and targeting the fighting area, and the sources added to the Syrian Observatory that the withdrawal of the regime forces came after killing and injuring several members in the ground shelling, and although they possess heavy weapons, they did not participate in repelling the attack, on the contrary, they withdrew, which is what they do in every violent attack by the Ankara-loyal factions on the area.
Withdrawals of the regime forces from battle areas provoked resentment among the civilians and the Syria Democratic Forces, where sources told the Syrian Observatory that “while the deployment of these forces in the area is supposed to aim to protecting these areas from the Turkish attacks; they are withdrawing rather than countering the Turkish attacks and attacks of the factions loyal to them, not only that but also it happened that the Syria Democratic Forces sometimes help the regime forces, then the regime forces return to spread in the same areas after the situation calms down.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from reliable sources that after the meeting of the Joint Operations Room between the Syria Democratic Forces and the regime forces in Tal Tamr and Darbasiyah, the regime forces told the Syria Democratic Forces that they did not receive orders to withdraw from the areas, and that what happened was an the members who are close to the clash lines fled from the area; because of their fears after their colleagues were captured and killed during recent clash against the Turkey-loyal factions, without air cover or heavy-weapons ground-support.
On the same day, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned today evening, that the Turkish forces released 18 captives of the regime forces, where they entered the Syrian territory via Al-Darbasiyah crossing point, and according what reliable sources said to the SOHR: these captives were not treated according to the conventions and laws relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, where they all were taken to Turkey without being relieved or receiving first aid, and all of them arrived with blood covering their bodies also their clothes were torn.
According to reliable sources, the “regime forces” lost 28 members of its forces in clashes between the Syria Democratic Forces and the regime forces against the Turkish Forces and the factions loyal to them, while tens of members of the regime forces were injured in clashes and exchange of targeting, in addition to injuries they had in the explosion of mines planted by Turkey-loyal factions in areas before they withdrawal of them, also reliable sources confirmed that a General, a Colonel, and 2 lieutenants of the regime forces were injured, and other members were injured, in targeting by Turkish drones for their positions in the area between Tal Tamr and Abu Rasin.
And despite the celebrations that prevailed some areas immediately after announcing the agreement between “SDF” and “the regime” for the spread of the regime forces in the border areas, sources confirmed that there was a state of great discontent in the areas where the regime forces were deployed, where reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that “some members of the regime are stealing shops, harassing citizens and cars in the areas they spread in.”