Traffic returned to a major highway in northeastern Syria for the first time in seven months on Monday, following Russian mediation to reopen closed parts of the road.
According to local reports, several vehicles accompanied by Russian troops began driving in the morning between the northern towns of Ein Issa and Tal Tamr. The two towns are controlled by regime forces and YPG/PKK terrorist groups while the area between them is mostly held by Turkey-backed opposition groups.
Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition captured parts of the highway known as M4 in October when Ankara launched an operation northeastern Syria to drive away YPG/PKK terrorists. The M4 links Syria’s coastal region all the way east to the Iraqi border.
Four convoys will drive on the M4 every day with two leaving from Tal Tamr and two from Ein Issa. The report said a convoy will leave from each town at 8 a.m., and another set of convoys will do the same, three hours later. The opening of the highway will shorten the trip between the two towns as people previously had to take a roundabout way, using side roads.
Russia, the main power broker with Turkey in Syria, mediated the deal to reopen the highway. Russia and Turkey back rival groups in Syria's nine-year conflict.
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