Russia has protested against “provocative actions” United States forces deployed in Syria, Rear Admiral Oleg Gurinov, deputy chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on March 31.
The senior Russian military officer said that the “provocative” incidents had occurred in Syria’s northeastern governorate of Hassakeh where U.S. forces have been deployed for several years, leading a coalition and backing the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.
“Provocative actions by units of the U.S. forces have been recorded in al-Hasakah governorate. During joint Russian-Turkish patrols, the movement of two patrols conducted by the so-called anti-terrorist coalition were tracked along the non-deconfliction routes near Deiruna-Aga and Saramsak. The Russian side has protested to the coalition,” the TASS news agency quoted Gurinov as saying.
According to the officer, the violation of the deconfliction agreements by the coalition jeopardizes the fragile balance of power in the region, and also has a negative impact on the development of the situation.
Russian and Turkish forces conduct joint patrols in Syria’s northeastern region as a part of a deconfliction agreement that was reached in 2019.
According to recent reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based pro-opposition monitoring group, Russia strengthened some of its bases in the northeastern region with air defense, radar and ballistic missile systems during March.
Most of the reinforcements were deployed after a deadly confrontation between Iranian-backed forces and the U.S.-led coalition that took place last week in the governorates of Deir Ezzor and al-Hasakah.
Russia is apparently working to mount more pressure on the U.S. over its military presence in Syria that is not approved by the legitimate government in Damascus. Russian warplanes flew over U.S. bases in the country dozens of times in the last few months, according to U.S. officials.