North-East Syria has become a playground for armored vehicles. Not a week goes by without the Russian army stopping a US patrol, the Syrian Arab Army stopping a US patrol, or the other way around. Military patrols have even been reported to chase each other through the countryside like cat and mouse.
Another flare-up between Russian and US forces happened yesterday near Derik, close to North-East Syria’s sole border crossing with the autonomous Kurdish Region in Iraq and the outside world. The US forces have been seen circling around the new Russian post’s area in order to provoke. The Russian forces blocked a US patrol, sparking the negotiations seen here.
Both forces blocked the road for hours, causing unrest amongst civilians that were waiting in a long line to get through.
Other Russian and US vehicles were “playing cat-and-mouse” in the surrounding countryside, reported by villagers, with the US trying to open and Russia block alternative routes back to the main road.
Pro-PYD locals were gathered by Kurdish traffic police and asayish to protest and pelt the Russian forces with stones, but have since been pushed back to a checkpoint by the local security forces on order of the US.
Asayish has also opened a path for local traffic to continue moving past the quarrelling US and Russian forces, after hours of waiting “The Russians have the upper hand,” per an eyewitness. “They have what they came
for. The Americans didn’t want to let them into the territory but they have even succeeded to block their patrol from returning to their post. The Americans let the Turks into North-Syria. The little peace we have now, we have to thank Russia for.”
After Turkish military and its allied mercenaries launched an offensive against the U.S.-backed SDF in October 2019, Russian troops stepped into the region, following a partial U.S. troop withdrawal from the border area between Syria and Turkey. Russia prevented the Turks from invading even more territory and causing more bloodshed by forcing Erdogan into a peace treaty.
As the Russians stepped into the region, the U.S. have again increased their presence in the region they left open to Turkish violence, obviously afraid of Russia’s growing influence. The U.S. keeps forcing the Kurds to stay away from Russia and the Syrian government, and pushes them towards a Kurdish-Kurdish agreement instead.