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This was reported: A senior Russian military official in Damascus two days ago, carrying a message from President Vladimir Putin to the head of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad, clearly sets out the points of deployment of the government forces north of Aleppo in exchange for the Turkish army. The chief of staff of the Russian army, Valery Girasimov, usually guarantees the transfer of the field message to Assad, whether by visiting Damascus or staying at the Russian military base in Hameimim and arranging his meetings with those involved, whether they are Syrians or “paratroopers” or “Kurdish protection units.” According to information available to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Russian military leader made an unannounced operational visit to Damascus, which included handing over to the Syrian side maps of the deployment of observation points for the government forces in the north of the country, to be deployed 10 points near Aazaz, Tel Rifaat, Nabal and Zahra, The government and its allies from organizations supported by Iran to add to the other 7 points previously established, not to be close to those points of Afrin, which spent the understandings between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran to go to the Turkish army and Syrian opposition factions backed by Ankara. In exchange for these points, the Turkish army will establish 12 or 13 observation points in the countryside of Idlib, Hama and Aleppo, in addition to continuing the process of “olive grove” to link the areas of the “Euphrates Shield” between Aleppo and Tripoli and Idlib areas. An official in Damascus, the commander of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, told SPAN HAMO of these understandings and points of deployment, which was interpreted by the leaders of the units as a decision in Damascus to “abandon Afrin and the north to Turkey.” This latest communication was a confirmation of a previous message reaching Hamo that Moscow would not allow Damascus to deal negatively and “resist” Turkish operations in the north of the country, despite media statements by Damascus officials describing the “olive grove” as “Turkish aggression.” Asharq Al-Awsat published details of a tripartite meeting that took place in Aleppo, including Hamo, the head of the security committee in the government forces, Brigadier General Malek Alia, and the commander of the Russian Center for Reconciliation on the eve of the launch of the “olive grove” on January 20. At the time, the text of the understanding with Damascus was presented on three items: coordination and field cooperation between the Syrian army and the units, working to repel the Turkish attack and working together to liberate the areas controlled by the Turkish army and supported factions north of Afrin and near the border. Damascus wanted to return to Afrin, whether real or symbolic, but Moscow refused, “because the understandings with Ankara are much greater than Afrin,” according to a Russian official. After that, Damascus sent “popular forces” to Afrin and its countryside, which was met with Turkish bombardment that caused dozens of deaths. This was applied to what the commander of the Russian Center told Hamo and Alia at the meeting in Aleppo, that Moscow “will not support the agreement between the units and the army, but implementation of this agreement is a very dangerous step.” It is also an actual application of what Hamo heard from the Russian chief of staff in Moscow on the eve of the start of the “olive curd” process that Turkey “has the right to defend its national security” and that the Russian army “will not obstruct the use of Turkish aircraft in the attack on Afrin.” Russia’s recent military message to Damascus is paving the way for Afrin to be included in the “reduction of escalation” agreements, according to the Russian understanding, days before the Russian-Turkish-Iranian tripartite meeting in Astana this month which will pave the way for a three- Next month. Turkish forces and the Free Army factions stepped up their operations in the coming days and made rapid progress and have surrounded Afrin from three directions. It was on the outskirts of the city of Afrin after controlling the 135th Brigade, a training camp for the “protection units.” Six years ago, it was the seat of the regime’s forces after it seized control of the strategic town of Jondiers on Thursday. Under the understandings with Russia, Turkey links the Euphrates Shield, an area of more than 2,100 square kilometers, to the Afrin region, which has so far controlled 1,000 square kilometers. It is seeking to expand its area of influence to be the third in terms of territory after the American influence area of one third of the area of Syria (185 thousand square kilometers) and the regime forces and Russia and Iran, which controls half the country. Ankara remains committed to expanding operations to Manbaj and hopes to reach an understanding with Washington despite continued mistrust. The US side clearly told the Kurdish leaders that it had nothing to do with Afrin and promised to defend them east of the Euphrates River. Negotiations between Turkish and US military and intelligence officials on the future of Manbaj were held two days ago. The Turkish side presents a joint presence in Manbij in exchange for the exit of the units to the east of the Euphrates River, in addition to removing the units from the Turkish border and conducting Turkish patrols instead of the American proposals to expand the role of the Arab Military Council and to change the role of the units. The city, with the admission of Turkish checkpoints in the city, which includes a US military center in the heart and another of the Russian army in its countryside. US and Turkish experts prepared scenarios to reconcile the two ministers, Mouloud Javishoglu and Rex Tillerson, on January 19, as negotiations continue to reach understandings on the eastern Euphrates, where Washington has a political priority to control and stay. “According to a Western diplomat.