[ Editor’s Note: To secure the road from pro Turkish forces attacks, it would require regular military support in depth. In the past, Turkey has responded quickly with artillery support for its militias inside Syria and its “safety zone” from whence they have launched attacks on the road.
I never understood why Russia and Syria agreed to such a deep safety zone which puts the M-4 highway within mortar range. It did not take a military genius to anticipate an endless series of hit and run attacks on the highway.
And then we had the Turkish forces ethnically cleansing their safety zone, stealing everything the inhabitants had (which is how Turkey pays bonuses to militias) and turning them into refugees.
We even saw where electric wiring was being stripped out of homes to sell as copper scrap, making them uninhabitable if the former residents returned.
And last, with the Idlib battle looking like it is going to heat up at any time, I would be surprised to see the Syrian coalition risking a two front war in the Kurdish northeast region… Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … May 23, 2020 –
The M4 highway in northeast Syria will be reopened on May 25, the RT TV reported on May 23 citing a Russian military source in the region.
“There will be daily Russian patrols, except on Friday, to track the movement on the road and prevent any military provocations on it,” the source told the Russian network.
The highway, which links al-Hasakah with Raqqa and Aleppo, was blocked last year when the Turkish military and its proxies invaded the northeastern region. Turkish-backed militants are currently in control of 80 km of the highway.
According to RT’s source, Russian forces will coordinate their efforts with the local administration in the town of Tell Tamr in northern al-Hasakah to keep the highway open. All forces will be prevented from reaching the highway.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia has not commented on the RT report yet. However, some Kurdish sources confirmed that the highway will be reopened on May 25.
In October of 2019, Russia and Turkey reached an agreement on the ceasefire in northeast Syria. Kurdish forces were pushed at least 30 km away from Turkish border, while the Russian Military Police and the Syrian military were deployed south of the M4.
The reopening of the M4 in northeast Syria will be major achievement. Nevertheless, a long section of the highway in the northwestern Greater Idlib region is still closed. Russia and Turkey reached an agreement to open that section earlier this year. However, it is yet to be implemented.
Jim W. Dean is VT Editor Emeritus. He was an active editor on VT from 2010-2022. He was involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. He now writes and posts periodically for VT.
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