ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Russia and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) agreed Sunday upon the deployment of Russian troops to the towns of Ain Issa and Tel Tamr, where Turkish-backed proxies have continued their attacks against the Kurdish-led forces. Troops will also be deployed to the border town of Amuda, according to the SDF’s commander-in-chief.
“We were honored to host the commander of Russian forces working in Syria Lieutenant General Alexander Chaiko. It was a very fruitful meeting, and we agreed to deploy Russian forces in Amuda, Tel Tamr, and Ain Issa for security and stability of the area,” SDF commander Mazloum Abdi said in a tweet on Sunday.
“We look forward to more joint efforts for the interest of both of our countries,” Abdi added.
The towns of Ain Issa and Tel Tamr have witnessed sustained fighting between the SDF and Turkey’s Syrian proxies – despite two ceasefire agreements.
Turkey launched its incursion, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, into Kurdish-controlled northern Syria on October 9. It aimed to push the Kurdish-led SDF back from the Turkey-Syria border to a depth of 32 kilometers, and settle up to three million Syrian refugees Turkey hosts in the resulting “safe zone.”
The operation has been subject to international condemnation. A US-Turkey ceasefire agreement plus a Russian-Turkish deal sought to stop any further Turkish assault.
Though the operation has largely come to a halt, Turkey-backed groups have continued their attacks on Tel Tamr – a strategic, Christian-minority town through which a route connecting Kurdish-controlled zones runs – and Ain Issa, the capital of the Kurdish-led Self-Autonomous Administration in Northern and Eastern Syria.
Sunday’s agreement follows a trade of accusations between the two parties. Russia claimed the SDF had not adhered to the Russia-Turkey deal; the SDF said Russia was failing in its role as guarantor of the agreement.