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United States negotiates with Turkey on fighting IS in Syria; High Negotiations Committee supports gradual US forces withdrawal

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Editing: Ayham Nasif |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Muhammad Ghaith
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Publication date: 2018/12/23 18:59

Local and field updates:

On Sunday, Yousef Hamoud, the spokesperson for the National Army of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said that the United States is negotiating with Turkey to let the Turkish Army fight the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Hamoud added that both sides negotiated the procedures following the period after the expulsion of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Northern and Northeastern Syria and the Turkish Army and National Army’s replacement the US forces in the region.

A French military convoy entered the city of Tal Abyad, 80 kilometers north of al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, amidst Turkish threats to launch a military operation in the area east of the Euphrates.

The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said that they demanded the French forces to assume their responsibilities toward the Turkish threats. The SDC has received no promises by the French forces.

The Maghaweer al-Thawra Army said that they will continue to protect the civilians who live in the al-Tanf area and al-Rukban camp near the Jordanian border despite the US forces’ withdrawal from Syria.

An SDF commander said that the battles against the IS in Eastern Syria will continue and the US forces’ withdrawal will not affect the fighting.

The price of beef more than doubled in the city of al-Bukamal in Deir al-Zor, Eastern Syria, due to the Syrian government’s custom taxes of 40 percent of the value of each cattle cargo.

The YPG raided the village of al-Fatih in Western al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria, and arrested three of 15 wanted people.

Syrian government supporters in the city of Qamishli in al-Hasakah, Northeastern Syria, protested the Turkish threats of attacking Northern and Northeastern Syria.

The Asayish security forces of the Autonomous Administration arrested three people on charges of dealing drugs in the town of al-Yarubiya.

The administration of the school of Umm Amoud’s Martyrs in Western Aleppo, Northern Syria, appealed to humanitarian organizations to support students who lack educational equipment.

Members of the Syrian government’s Shabiha militias imposed sums of money on small trucks passing by the Hama Military Airport, Central Syria.

The Syrian government referred Ratib Othman Salah al-Jabawi, the former head of the local council in the city of Jasim, 40 kilometers north of Daraa, Southern Syria, to the Terrorism Court following two weeks of detention.

42 Syrian government judges filed a lawsuit against the citizen Yahiya Abu Raed from the al-Suwayda governorate in Southern Syria after he accused judicial authorities of corruption. The judges filed the lawsuit in a meeting between people from al-Suwayda and Syrian government officials.

The Syrian government forces released an artist from al-Suwayda after arresting the artist at a checkpoint near Damascus two weeks ago.

Political and international updates:

On Sunday, the High Negotiations Committee of the Riyadh II Conference said that they support a gradual withdrawal of the US forces from Syria after the committee coordinated  with Turkey and the FSA.

Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the High Negotiations Committee, tweeted that any US hasty and ill-advised withdrawal from Syria could create an opportunity that the Syrian government forces and Iranian loyalist militias or the IS could seek to exploit.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel will continue its operations to prevent Iran from establishing military bases in Syria despite the US forces’ withdrawal.

Netanyahu tweeted “The decision to withdraw 2,000 US forces from Syria will not change our firm policies. We will continue to prevent Iran from establishing bases in Syria and expand our operations there if necessary.”

The Syrian government and Egyptian media outlets reported that Ali Mamlouk, the head of the Syrian government National Security Office visited Egypt upon a formal invitation by Abbas Kamel, the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence.