Tensions Flare in Al-Bab as Residents Block Joint Russian-Turkish Patrol

Credit: (Social Media)

 Great tensions erupted yesterday in the city of al-Bab, located in the northern countryside of Aleppo, as fighters stood alert at the Abu Al-Zandin crossing. The cause of the unrest was the entry of a joint Russian and Turkish military patrol, which led to significant local opposition.

According to a source from the Turkish-sponsored, Syrian National Army (SNA), as reported by Radio and Television Al-Kul, the Russian delegation that was scheduled to enter the city of al-Bab was forced to withdraw. The source confirmed that members of the SNA, alongside residents, verified that Turkish vehicles were free of Russian delegation members before allowing them to proceed.

Protests also spread to the city of Jandairis in the Afrin countryside, where demonstrators expressed their opposition to the Russian delegation’s entry into al-Bab. This region has been fraught with tensions as various factions vie for control and influence.

Several social media outlets have fueled the controversy taking a more conspiratorial tone and suggesting darker motives behind the delegation’s visit. Accusing the Turkish-backed Syrian Interim Government (SIG) of colluding with Russia and Turkey to negotiate reconciliation deals similar to those in the southern Daraa province in 2018. According to these sources, the visit was not merely about negotiating water and electricity issues, as officially stated, but was aimed at imposing Russian oversight on the region.

“The interim government is broadcasting false news. The real aim of the Russian delegation’s visit was to observe military points and gradually place the region under Russian control,” said a widely circulated social media post. The message further warned of potential arrests by Turkish intelligence and the military police of those who participated in intercepting the Russian delegation.

The situation escalated as residents of al-Bab and nearby villages mobilized to block the road to the Tadif roundabout, preventing the Russian patrols from entering the area. Video footage circulated online showed locals checking Turkish vehicles for any hidden Russian personnel. The protest and roadblocks persisted until the Turkish convoy, initially set to accompany the Russian delegation, returned to regime-controlled areas.

Amidst the unrest, Professor Muhammad Al-Amawi’s channel reported armed young men preparing to confront the Russian delegation. The channel claimed that the delegation’s true purpose was military in nature and not related to resolving water issues, as had been suggested by some.

Activists called on residents, including internally displaced from other parts of Syria, to gather at the new Al-Hal Market roundabout and head towards the Abu Zindin crossing to prevent the Russian delegation’s entry. Hundreds responded by blocking Tadef Road with stones and burning tires, creating a standoff that lasted until the Turkish convoy’s departure.

Rumors continued to swirl about the visit’s purpose. Some sources suggested it was linked to reopening the Abu Zindin crossing and monitoring the international road (M4). Others dismissed these claims as attempts to placate the public and prevent further protests.

Negotiations between the Turkish and Russian sides over the water problem in al-Bab have been ongoing for weeks, but no agreement has been reached. The visit by the Russian delegation, widely believed to have been purely military, has only added to the mistrust and instability in the region. The situation in al-Bab remains tense as residents remain vigilant against any future attempts by foreign forces to impose control.


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