Over 2,000 Syrian soldiers were deployed Saturday on a key road connecting the northeastern province of Hasakah with northern Aleppo province, the largest deployment since the army left the area five years ago, a war monitor reported.
The Syrian military units, which were deployed on the highway, were accompanied by Russian forces, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based watchdog group said the deployment of the Syrian troops on that part of the M4 road comes as part of the deals that the Syrian side concluded with the Kurdish forces recently and the most current one between Russia and Turkey.
On 9 October, Turkey launched an operation to clear the Kurdish militia from northern Syria in the east of the Euphrates river to eliminate what Turkey perceives as a threat to its border security, impose a safe zone and resettle millions of Syrian refugees.
On 13 October, the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said the Syrian army will deploy along the border with Turkey in an agreement with the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria to help repel a Turkish offensive.
The United States reached a deal with Turkey on 17 October, imposing a five-day cease-fire to allow the Kurdish forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to pull back from the planned safe zone that Turkey wants to create in northern Syria.
On 22 October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Sochi, Russia, agreeing on the parameters of the proposed Turkish “safe zone” in northern Syria.
The deal stipulates that the Kurdish militia of the SDF and its broader umbrella of the People’s Protection Units will pull back 30 km south of Turkey’s border within 150 hours.
Joint patrols by Turkish and Russian forces will take place in that area, according to the deal.