Syrian government forces stop US patrols in Hasakah province: SOHR
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian government-backed National Defense Forces (NDF) stopped a US-led coalition patrol from passing through the Mansaf Tahtani village near Tal Tamir, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor reported on Saturday.
The incident has not been confirmed by the US-led coalition.
Citing activists, SOHR said that this was the fifth time coalition patrols were blocked in Hasakah province this month.
SOHR also claimed that also on Friday “regime soldiers intercepted a US convoy in the villages of Tal Al-Dhahab and Al-Salihiya in Al-Hasakah countryside.”
Syria's state-run SANA news agency reported that a US convoy was stopped near Tal Tamir on Saturday.
SANA also claimed that locals blocked the passage of a US convoy in the villages of Tal Dahab and al-Salihiya in Hasakah province on Friday.
On Dec. 16, SOHR said that the “regime-backed National Defense Forces with the participation of some regime loyalists stationed at a checkpoint in Al-Damakhiah Saghira village in Al-Qamishli countryside prevented a US patrol from passing through the village.”
“Part of the challenge for US forces is that local regime units will shift checkpoints and depending on their mood, try to confront the US forces,” Nicholas Heras, Deputy Director of the Human Security Unit, at New Lines Institute in Washington, D.C., told Kurdistan 24.
“There is no perfect solution, because even the US-Russia coordination channel cannot completely account for pro-regime local units,” he said.
“This is an endemic issue for the US forces in northeast Syria, and it is the easiest way for pro-regime units to remind the US forces that Assad still has influence over events in that region.”
Last year, there were also incidents between coalition patrols and Syrian pro-government forces that caused casualties.
Read More: US patrol returns fire after Syrian regime forces attack near Qamishlo
In August 2020, one Syrian soldier was killed and two others were injured when US forces returned fire after being attacked.