Russia’s military says it has established a “de-confliction” zone north of the Syrian city of Aleppo in an attempt to prevent fighting between Kurdish fighters and militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army.
“To prevent provocations and possible clashes between the Free Syrian Army in northern Syria and Kurdish militia, a de-confliction zone was created in Tal Rifaat district,” senior Russian military officer Sergei Rudskoi said at a briefing in the Russian Defense Ministry headquarters in Moscow on Wednesday.
“Contingents of Syrian government forces have replaced Kurdish armed groups which have left this district” and “a contingent of Russian military police has been brought in to the area” and erected checkpoints, he added.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said in August that under an agreement with Moscow, “Russian military observers” would “deploy along multiple points” in the area to monitor and provide security.
According to the Russian military, nearly 400 people have returned to their homes in Tal Rifaat since the zone was created.
Syrian army’s ‘serious success’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rudskoi referred to the “serious success” the Syrian army had achieved in eastern and central Syria over the past two weeks.
On Tuesday, Syrian government forces broke the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group’s three-year siege on the city of Dayr al-Zawr.
Rudskoi said the forces had liberated 59 towns and villages from the control of the terrorists.
Sergei Surovikin, the commander of Russian forces in Syria, said at the briefing, “The average speed of the advance by the government troops over the last three days was 15-20 kilometers (nine to 12 miles) a day.”
“The operation to liquidate the last major base of the terrorists in Syria is being completed,” Surovikin added. He said Russian fighter jets had conducted 2,687 airstrikes in support of the liberation operation over the past two weeks.