المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

In a new step to limit the Iranian influence in the area…Russia enhances and expands its posts in Tel Rifaat through bringing military and logistic reinforcements

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from a number of reliable sources that the Russian forces entrenching their presence in Tel Rifaat town in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights; the Russians and over the past 48 hours, brought military reinforcements to the town including soldiers, heavy vehicles and military and logistic equipments accompanied by establishing 3 new military posts of them in Tel Rifaat, in conjunction with fortifying their posts in Kishta’ar village which is also located in the northern countryside of Aleppo, with no any information so far about the Russians’ purposes of enhancing their positions in Tel Rifaat, whether it comes for limiting the Iranian expansion in the area in the wake of the cold war between the both parties, and the obstacle that Iran represents in the Russian – Turkish deal about Tel Rifaat and Damascus – Aleppo International Highway and Aleppo – Latakia International Highway, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 15th of April 2019, that reliable sources denied to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights the Russian withdrawal from the vicinity of Tal Rifaat area in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the Russian forces are working to find a military representation for them in the northern and northeastern countryside of Aleppo area, and they did not withdraw from the area but the decreased their heavy weapons in the area itself, after tensions and disagreements between the Russians and between the regime and Iran, and this came after forces from the regime responded to the Turkish shelling of Tal Rifaat area and its surroundings of the villages and areas of al-Malkiyyeh and Shawargha and their surroundings in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and several of these shells landed on areas near the Russian bases operating in the north of Aleppo, which was considered a serious threat by them for the Russian forces, especially after what the area had witnessed of mobilization by the regime forces by bringing more heavy weaponry to the area, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also learned that some Russian points were merged with the regime forces, especially members of the “Tiger Forces” of the Brigadier Suhail al-Hasan who is close to Russia and supported by it, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the Russian Forces in the last 72 hours carried out patrols in Tal Rifaat area; confirming their presence in the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the speculation around the Putin – Erdogan agreement on the fate of Tal Rifaat city, which provides for handing over the city in exchange for areas in Idlib, which is considered dangerous and seriously threatening Aleppo city by Iran and some parties of the regime and the Kurdish forces in the area, in addition to the towns of Nubl and Zahra and areas of control of the latter north of Aleppo, while none of the parties working in the area provided any guarantees not to target the Turkish military vehicles if Russia and Turkey run joint patrols in the area similar to what happened in Idlib area, and the Syrian Observatory recorded a video showing positions of the Russian Forces in the northern and northeastern countryside of Aleppo, where reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the base of the “al-Faisal Mill” in Kasht’aar represents one of the main bases of the Russians, which continues to maintain its tasks in coordinating with the regime forces and the Kurdish Forces deployed in the area, and other than that point; there are points for the Russians in the villages of al-Wahshiyyeh and Deir Jamal in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and al-Nirabiyyah village in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, but there are no longer points of presence of the Russian Forces who withdrew from it on the 28th of March 2018, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the presence of are at least 30000 people of Afrin city’s people who displaced from their areas after the Turkish war in the area, in addition to the presence of at least 150000 others in villages of the northern countryside of Aleppo.

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