Damascus gains control of northern Syria
Senior Kurdish official Badran Jia Kurd said a provisional military agreement limited to the army's deployment along the border was concluded between the Syrian government and the country's Kurds.
According to the official, the two sides are expected to discuss political issues later.
Syrian army soldiers are now poised to enter border territory from the town of Manbij to Derik, under the deal with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the YPG spearheads and which controls the northeast.
"After the Americans abandoned the region, and gave the green light for the Turkish attack, we were forced to explore another option, which is talks with Damascus and Moscow to find a way out and thwart these Turkish attacks," Reuters cited Jia Kurd as saying.
"This is a preliminary military agreement. The political aspects were not discussed, and these will be discussed at later stages," he added.
State media said army units entered the town of Tel Tamer in northeast Syria on Monday, some 35 km from a focal point of the Turkish offensive.
General Ismet Sheikh Hasan, an official in Kurdish-controlled Kobane, said yesterday that Syrian Kurds have reached an agreement with Damascs and Moscow to protect Kobane.
According to SANA, the Syrian army entered a large number of villages and towns in Raqqa province, al-Tabqa city and its countryside and al-Tabqa military airport.
The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that after the Syrian troops headed north of the country, there was a threat of hostilities between Damascus and Ankara, whose armed forces were conducting the Operation Peace Spring in the same area. "If the forces come in direct contact, any surprises are possible. In general, this is a very dangerous situation," he said in the first place.
"Clashes between local combat units could escalate into open conflict between the Syrian and Turkish governments. The Turkish operation is condemned by the international community as it can lead to dangerous retaliatory actions by the Kurds and Damascus. I always emphasized in discussions with Turkish colleagues that creating a buffer zone is permissible - but from the Turkish side, and not from the side of another country. Turkey has a right to form a security zone on its territory, but it doesn't require entering the Syrian territory," Andrey Baklanov stressed.
The diplomat emphasized that it’s not yet possible to predict Turkey’s reaction to the change of situation, in particular, whether Ankara will curtail the Operation Peace Spring if Damascus commits itself to take complete control of northern Syria. "It depends on a combination of power and political and foreign policy factors. So far, the degree of rigidity and elasticity of these counter factors is unclear," the deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association concluded.