In northeastern Syria, standardization under Russian patronage does not prevent clashes

In accordance with the agreement between Moscow and Ankara, Kurdish forces completed their withdrawal on Tuesday. But clashes erupted between the Turkish army and the Damascus forces, causing the death of six Syrian soldiers.

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Patrol of the Russian military police accompanied by Kurdish internal security forces, Derbassiyé (Syria), 29 October. LAURENCE GEAI FOR "THE WORLD"

The officer of the Russian military police looks concerned. In the cockpit of his armored off-road, with an open door, his voice is irritating on the phone. The convoy of three vehicles, which includes another light armored vehicle and a troop transport, Russian flag in the autumn wind stopped in a street of the small Kurdish city of Derbassiyé.

This locality, which rains of last night have covered with mud and whose offensive led by Ankara, launched in the north of the country, has deprived some of its inhabitants, is home to a border crossing with Turkey.

At the end of the street where the Russian military stopped, above no man's land, floats the ample red of the Turkish flag. One can see there, a few hundred yards away, gray and green silhouettes, stretched on their arms, soldiers of the Turkish army.

In front of the small Kurdish city of Derbassiyé, Turkey. Turkish soldiers are in position.
In front of the small Kurdish city of Derbassiyé, Turkey. Turkish soldiers are in position. LAURENCE GEAI FOR "THE WORLD"

Some members of the Kurdish internal security forces accompany the convoy, seemingly unaware of its final destination.

"The Russians brought us peace"

The presence of Russian vehicles attracts residents of the small Kurdish town who live in fear of renewed fighting. "It's been weeks that we could not approach this neighborhood without being shot by Turkish snipers! The Russians have brought us peace, we are really reassured to see them here! " In a smile, a young Kurdish thirty-year-old, managing a foreign exchange bureau, arm in arm with a friend.

Does he trust them more than Americans? "All that is beyond us. The main thing is that the Turks do not shoot anymore! " In the north of Syria, a day of peace, it is always taken. Each day has enough trouble of its.

The deadline for Syrian Kurdish forces to leave the border areas on pain of a resumption of the offensive, as planned on 22 October by the Sochi agreements between Russia and Turkey, has expired. The Russian military police, which was reinforced on Tuesday in northeastern Syria by new Chechen contingents, now patrol the border whose environs are also punctuated by new posts in the Syrian army.

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Along the road that connects the localities bordering Turkey, south of the concrete wall erected by Ankara between the two countries, the flag of the Damascus regime has returned after more than seven years of absence.

But at the border post to which the Russian convoy resumed its course, the flags of the Kurdish movement, the portraits of its imprisoned leader in Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan, are still there. The military police officer is accompanied by his men, who talk to each other in Chechen, and members of the Kurdish security forces, with flower scarves around their necks.


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