On October 10, 2019, Turkey launches major military offensive codenamed Operation Peace Spring in Syria to create a “Safe Zone”.
The move came after the United States announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group, without US military support.
Later on October 17, 2019, Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles aircraft supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, carried out an airstrike on Lafarge Cement Factory, to destroy an ammunition cache and prevent it from being seized by Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, or TFSA, that along with the Turkish forces continue to move south with the goal of uprooting the Kurdish fighters, which Turkey views as terrorists that threaten its national interests.
Armed Russian military police were shown in footage aired on Zvezda flying into the Syrian airbase in northern Aleppo province near the border with Turkey and fanning out to secure the area.
The facility will be used as a center to distribute humanitarian aid for local residents and the military aerodrome is now controlled by Syrian government forces allied with Moscow, Zvezda said.
On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow’s control over events on the ground there.
Zvezda aired footage of US equipment such as medical supplies to treat sunburn that had been left behind as well as a gym and sleeping facilities.
The Syrian base was one of the largest held by the U.S. in the country – although newer and largest facilities are reportedly currently being built in Syria’s northeast regions near the Iraqi border.
Russia has two permanent military facilities in Syria, an airbase in Latakia province used for airstrikes against forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad, and a naval facility at Tartus on the Mediterranean.