MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian military police in Syria suspended escort of civilian vehicles on the M4 highway’s Tell Tamer — Ayn Issa section due to escalation of the situation in the area, Rear Adm. Vyacheslav Sytnik, deputy head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, said at a briefing.
“In connection with the escalation of the situation, the Russian military police stopped escorting civilian vehicles on the M4 Tell Tamer — Ayn Issa section. It will be resumed as the situation is improved,” Sytnik said.
He added that units of the Russian military police were performing tasks at observation posts together with the Syrian military aimed at stabilizing the situation in the area of the city of Ayn Issa, Raqqa Province.
Earlier, Russian officials have called on all parties to cease shelling near the Syrian town of Ain Issa, Rear Adm. Vyacheslav Sytnik, the deputy head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s center for Syrian reconciliation, said on Sunday.
As for the end of September, Russian military police stationed in Syria have escorted more than 50,000 civilians and 26,000 cars on the M4 highway since its opening to civilian transport on May 25, 2020, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
When spotting suspicious vehicles, the police report this to the command and take security measures – they put up additional checkpoints and security on that section of the route.
Syria has been engulfed in a protracted civil war since 2011, with the Syrian government’s forces fighting against various insurgent groups. The so-called Astana trio, which includes Russia, Turkey and Iran, has been trying to bring the conflicting sides together to achieve peaceful settlement since the first meeting in Astana (now Nur Sultan) in January 2017.
The Russian forces have been providing assistance on the ground and monitoring the ceasefire, as well as facilitating the return of Syrian refugees and restoration of peaceful life.