Syrian regime troops deploy along Turkish border as Russian airstrikes kill more children

Syrian regime troops deploy along Turkish border as Russian airstrikes kill more children
Syrian regime troops have deployed along the Syrian-Turkish border following an agreement between Turkey and Russia, as Russian warplanes killed two children in rebel-held Idlib province.
2 min read
14 November, 2019
Syrian regime soldiers have deployed to border areas [Getty]
Syrian regime forces started deploying on Thursday in areas close to the Turkish border in the country's northeast as part of an agreement reached between Russia and Turkey, regime media reported.

News agency SANA said troops were deploying between the towns of Jawadiyeh and Malkiyeh, also known as Derik, while regime TV said border guards will be positioned at six points near to the frontier.

The deployment is part of a cease-fire deal brokered by Moscow last month along much of the northeastern border that seeks to clear the area of the Kurdish fighters who were key US allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Since the agreement was reached, Russia and Turkey began joint patrols along a narrower strip directly on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Read more: Russia takes over northeastern Syrian airport following US withdrawal

Turkey began a major military offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria last month, capturing dozens of towns and villages.

An estimated 275,000 people have been displaced since Turkey began its invasion of northern Syria on 9 October.

Also on Thursday, an airstrike by Russian forces in Maarat Hurma in rebel-held Idlib province killed two children from the same family.

A source from the Syrian Civil Defence told The New Arab that the children were killed as they picked olives in fields and that three other civilians were also wounded.

Earlier, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad also commented on the death of James Le Mesurier, a British army officer who helped found the Syrian Civil Defence, which is also known as the White Helmets. 

"Maybe the founder of the White Helmets was planning to write a book about his life. This is unacceptable," Assad said in an interview with Russia's state-owned Russia 24. "These are possibilities, but they are big possibilities."

Assad added that "there is a big possibility that Turkish intelligence carried out this act at the orders of foreign agencies. I repeat these are possibilities."

Turkish officials had said that the death of Le Mesurier in Istanbul this week is under investigation. Le Mesurier was the founder and CEO of May Day Rescue, a group of local humanitarian volunteers who provided assistance to the Syrian Civil Defence.

He was 48 and had moved to Turkey with his wife four years ago, according to Turkey's official Anadolu news agency. Le Mesurier's body was found near his home in the Beyoglu district by worshippers on their way to a mosque, the agency reported.

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