MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Thirteen US military convoys comprised of more than 80 armored vehicles and more than 300 trucks with weapons have been redeployed from Iraq to northeastern Syria since the beginning of the current year. These weapons are used against Turkish troops and civilians, Oleg Zhuravlev, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria, told reporters on Tuesday.
"The command of the American forces in the region is flooding the trans-Euphrates region with weapons and munitions. Thus, since the beginning of 2020 alone, thirteen military convoys consisting of more than 80 armored vehicles, more than 300 heavy-duty trucks with various types of weapons, munitions and materiel have arrived in Syria from Iraq. The US weapons are used both in clashes between numerous militant groups along the entire trans-Euphrates region and against Turkish troops in northern Syria, and against civilians," Zhuravlev said.
The aggravated humanitarian situation in Syria’s northeastern regions and continuing shelling attacks by militants force civilian population to flee their homes for territories controlled by the Syrian government. "About 23,000 Syrians, mostly families with children and elderly people, have fled the area via the al-Salikhiyah checkpoint alone since the beginning of 2020," Zhuravlev noted.
He also said that three more checkpoints for civilians leaving the militants-controlled areas of the Idlib de-escalation zone were opened on February 17 in the settlements of Bjarez, Maarret al-Nuuman and Khabit. As many as 177, 171, and 35 people, respectively, used them to cross into government-controlled areas on February 18.
During the day, the Russian reconciliation center registered 29 shelling attacks by illegal armed groups in the Aleppo, Latakia and Hama governorates in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Zhuravlev also said that the Russian military police had continued patrolling along a number of routes in the Aleppo governorate. "The patrolling missions were conducted in accordance with the plans. No incidents were reported during the mission," he noted.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill assigned tasks after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. The center’s officers regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes and evacuation of civilians from de-escalation zones.