BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The discussions on the fate of Ain Issa, a town in the northern countryside of Al-Raqqa, are heating up between the Russian and Turkish forces, as the latter has issued a set of demands to avoid launching a major operation to capture the area.
Citing “private sources”, Sputnik Arabic reported on Tuesday that a new meeting was held between Russia and Turkey near Ain Issa, with both sides laying out their demands about the future of the town.
According to the Sputnik Arabic report, the Turkish side has demanded the complete withdrawal of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from Ain Issa, as one of its main conditions to avoid a military escalation there.
Furthermore, the report said the Russian and Syrian forces asked the SDF to withdraw from Ain Issa and its surroundings and let their troops enter the area so that the government can raise its flag over its institutions.
However, the sources told Sputnik that the SDF, in turn, tried to market the model of Manbeij city’s agreement with the Russian forces, showing their willingness to hand over the entrances and exits of Ain Issa only to the Syrian army units, which was categorically rejected by the Syrian and Russian sides.
It should be pointed out that the spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Kino Gabriel, recently spoke to journalist Wladimir van Wilgenburg about the situation in Ain Issa and his organization’s position on handing over the town.
Gabriel added there is no agreement in place to hand over the town, and that the SDF calls on Russia to stop the Turkish military’s hostilities in the area.
Over the last few weeks, the Turkish military and their allied militants have launched several attacks on Ain Issa, prompting the SDF to respond to the aggression and strengthen their presence in the area.