Russian, US activity seeing uptick in northern Syria
The US-backed SDF-controlled northeastern regions of Syria are witnessing an uptick in Russian and US military activity.
The northeastern regions of Syria, which are controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) armed groups, are seeing an increase in Russian and US military activity in light of political initiatives from the parties with the aim of reconciliation between Turkey and the SDF.
There have been signs pointing to the US initiative, mainly the recent hike in the State Department representative, Nicholas Granger's activity in northern and eastern Syria, as he held several meetings with the leaders of the Autonomous Administration, the Kurdish National Council, and the Christian parties to inform them of the initiative's content and discuss the possibility of its implementation.
Moreover, a statement issued by the Kurdish Autonomous Administration-aligned Syriac Union Party underlined that Granger stressed that the US prioritized regional stability and preventing Turkey from carrying out an offensive in the northeastern regions while upholding the alliance with SDF to combat ISIS and "backing the international course of action to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria."
There were no reliable leaks regarding what the initiative includes, though Kurdish media reported that it includes breaking the link between SDF and the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), clearing the regions near the borders, and forming councils that represent the Arab population of the regions outside of SDF's jurisdiction.
It also said the Arab population would be guaranteed a certain share of the oil to the Arabs while kicking out the Kurdish armed groups in Al-Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, and the rest of the cities that lie on the Syrian-Turkish border.
This comes as the US ravages Syria's oil sector, taking on Saturday tanks filled with large quantities of oil they stole from the fields of Al-Hasakah countryside and transported them to their bases in Iraq.
It is worth noting that in mid-December, Syria's Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement that the US occupation forces and their affiliated military groups' systematic lootings of Syrian oil, wheat, and other national resources have amounted to direct losses valued at $25.9 billion and indirect losses valued at over $86 billion, the Syrian SANA news agency reported.
Syria suffers from a scarcity of energy sources due to the US forces' control, with the help of the SDF, of most of the Syrian oil wells east of the Euphrates.
Likewise, Syria's oil production declined sharply during the war years, from more than 380,000 barrels per day before the war, to about only 16,000 barrels per day reaching Syrian oil refineries as the fields are no longer under the state's control, but under the control of US forces and armed groups.
It is noteworthy that the US occupation forces have intensified their thefts of Syrian oil during the past months, as they took hundreds of tanks loaded with stolen oil to their bases in Iraqi territory, in collusion with the US-backed SDF.
On another hand, Russia's activity comes in a bid to convince the Autonomous Administration to avert a war breaking out between the northern regions and Turkey by handing over these regions to the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian state.
In this regard, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) announced that it received a Russian delegation headed by a Russian Colonel. "The two sides discussed the conditions in which the Euphrates areas are administered on the level of the educational sector, the health sector, and the security.
"The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria called for the Russian side to adhere to its duties toward the region and stop the Turkish offensives that target civilians and service facilities for the Euphrates and all of northern and eastern Syria," the administration said.
"The Russian delegation confirmed their keenness to reduce tension in northern and eastern Syria," it added.
This comes at a time when a Kurdish delegation headed by the head of the committee of foreign relations in the AANES, Badran Jia Kurd, is expected to arrive in the Syrian capital of Damascus to follow up on the talks with the Syrian government's representatives and discuss common grounds in light of the event political developments.