AYN ISSA, Syria — On Monday, after weeks of Turkish bombardment and several unsuccessful raids by the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), an agreement was reached between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Russian forces to have the later deployed to checkpoints around Ayn Issa in North and East Syria.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Commander of the Tal Abyad Military Council Riad al-Khalaf declared that the points would be established in the east, west, and north of the town along the M4 highway.
According to Vedeng News Agency, as the agreement was being concluded, Russian forces were already on their way to their base in the countryside of Raqqa city.
During the past two weeks, the Turkish occupation and its proxies targeted the vicinity of Ayn Issa with a large number of shells and heavy artillery.
Turkish shelling frequently lands in the vicinity of Ayn Issa Hospital, peppering it with shrapnel. On Sunday, the day before the return of Russian forces to the area, the area witnessed an intense artillery bombardment which damaged the hospital.
At the end of November, two children were injured by a Turkish shell that struck their home.
Several attempts to raid frontline positions have failed, resulting in a number of casualties among the SNA.
The Tal Abyad Military Council issued a statement criticizing the inaction of Russian forces stationed near the frontline ostensibly to ensure a ceasefire agreed to between Turkey and Russia in October 2019.
Researcher Amy Austin Holmes, found that Turkey and the Turkish-backed SNA violated the ceasefire agreement signed in late October 2019 over 800 times as of October 2020.