SDF leader reaches deal on deployment of Russian troops near regions in northern Syria

“We look forward to further joint efforts in the interest of our two countries.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander-in-Chief, Mazloum Abdi, met on Sunday with the commander of Russian Forces in Syria, General Alexander Chaiko, in an undisclosed location to discuss the recent deployment of Russian forces in areas of northern Syria.

General Abdi described the meeting with Chaiko as “very productive.”

“We look forward to further joint efforts in the interest of our two countries,” he wrote on his official Twitter account.

According to the SDF leader, a high-level of mutual understanding and agreement was reached on the deployment of Russian forces in Amuda, Tal Tamr, and Ain Issa.

The meeting comes after Syrian army units accompanied by Russian forces entered Al Aaliah grain silos in the northwestern countryside of Hasakah on the Hasakah-Aleppo international highway.

Moreover, a Russian base was established in the town of Amuda on Saturday, local media reported.

On Oct. 22, Russia and Turkey signed the Sochi Memorandum, which supports the Turkish plan for a withdrawal of the SDF to territory 30 kilometers (16.5 miles) south of the Turkish-Syrian border. The deal, which began on Nov. 1, also outlines joint Turkish-Russian patrols in a 10-kilometer-wide strip of land along the border.

This is not the first time the SDF Commander-in-Chief has held talks with the Russian army.

In a video call with Russia’s military leadership on Oct. 23, Abdi thanked President Vladimir Putin for protecting the Kurdish people after the first Russian patrol was carried out in the city of Kobani.

Indeed, Putin reciprocated his gratitude, stating on Friday that his troops in Syria have experienced “a very kind attitude” from the Kurdish population “because the people there see and understand that the Russian army is there to protect them.”

“The [Kurdish] people understand this,” Putin added. “They display a kind-hearted approach toward us, even love.”

Farhad Patiyev, the Moscow-based co-chairman of the Council of the Federal, Ethnic, and Cultural Autonomy of Russia’s Kurds, told Kurdistan 24 that he hopes Russia plays a greater role in curbing future military aggression by Turkey.

“The attacks at a certain point were stopped or [were] limited, but it’s not enough since the war and clashes are still ongoing in many areas, and some areas are still occupied, like Afrin, Serekaniye, Girespi, Bab, and Jarabulus,” he warned. 

“If there is not a peaceful solution for the regions where Kurds live, there will never be a solution.”

According to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Damascus and Moscow control nearly 71 percent of Syrian territory after Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria on Oct. 9.

A few days following Turkey’s assault, the Syrian Kurds reached a deal with Damascus brokered by Russia that resulted in the entry of Russian and Syrian forces in northern Syria, while the US-led coalition repositioned forces to eastern Syria to fight the so-called Islamic State.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany