North-Press Agency has obtained video footages from a meeting of a delegation of the US-led Global Coalition against ISIS on last August 22, 2019 with the Military and Civil Council of Ras al-Ain (Sere Kaniye), northern Syria to discuss the planned "security mechanism", which was about to be established on the bordering line between Syria and Turkey, in the area between the cities of Tal Abyad (Tal-Abyad) and Ras al-Ain, which was intended to inform the responsible parties in the two cities about the mechanism to be established in the area linking between them, and the mechanism of translating the plans which were aimed to protect the civilians from any Turkish invasion in order to pave the way for reaching a political solution for the implementation of the UN Resolution 2254 on Syria.
The meeting was attended by the border security official in the US forces and the Global Coalition against ISIS, Iskander Deeb "Alex", a representative of the U.S. State Department "George", the official of the US special forces and one of the negotiators for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Turkey, "General Carl".
A day after the meeting, the U.S. Central Command, and via its "Twitter" account had announced that "Within 24 hours on the phone call between the U.S. Secretary of Defense and his Turkish counterpart about the security in northern Syria, the SDF dismantled its fortifications". According to the statement, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) thus proved its commitment to support the implementation of the "security mechanism", to start the first phase of the agreement after that.
On August 24, the Commander of the Global Coalition Forces in Syria and the Deputy Commander of the Global Coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS), Nicholas Bond appeared at the annual general meeting of the leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces in which he said: "Any military attack by Turkey on northeastern Syria will affect the relations and the agreements with Turkey", pointing out that, "the Global Coalition Forces will continue supporting the SDF to bring peace and eliminate ISIS". The meeting coincided with the withdrawal of the first groups of People's Protection Units (YPG) from the borders with Turkey near the city of Ras al-Ain with their heavy weapons in the sight of the aircraft of the Global Coalition implementing the mechanism of the withdrawal of the Units from the bordering point, and handed it over to the local forces (the Military Council), after which the Units withdrew from their bordering points in the city of Tal Abyad after they have tunneled the tunnels which they had prepared following the Turkish threats against northern Syria, based on the understandings of the "security mechanism".
The first joint US-Turkish patrol began on September 8, 2019 east of Tal Abyad in coordination with Tal Abyad Military Council, which had already took the points from which the SDF withdrew with its heavy weapons, after the Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Against– Inherent Resolve against ISIS thanked the importance of the role played by the SDF in northern Syria, following the speech of Erdogan, which at the time, threatened that his country would launch a unilateral military invasion in northern Syria, if his forces couldn't control the safe zone.
The reactions which emerged after the conduct of the first joint patrol made it clear that, the agreement is proceeding in a way, that is predictable for its continuation, where the Global Coalition Command held a meeting with the leadership of Tal Abyad Military Council and the Presidency of the Autonomous Administration in Tal Abyad, on September15, to discuss the U.S. coordination mechanisms with Tal Abyad Military Council within the framework of the "Security Mechanism" agreement. The meeting was attended by Brigadier Turner, Deputy Special Forces Commander for Operation Inherent Resolve by the Global Coalition Against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Co-Presidency of Tal Abyad Autonomous Administration and Co-Leadership of Tal Abyad Military Council, the meeting highlighted the mechanism for the return of IDPs, which is included in the "security mechanism" agreement and stressed the necessity that the return should be voluntary.
For his part, the spokesman of the Joint Operations Force – Operation – Inherent Resolve against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Col. Myles B. Caggins issued a statement to the media on the sidelines of the meeting, saying that, the Coalition finds itself "committed to success the security mechanism for the strong partnership with the SDF". In turn, the official in Tal Abyad Military Council, Rossel Zinarin announced their full commitment to the terms of the "security mechanism", confirming that "We cooperate with the Civil Council and the Internal Security Forces to secure the region to enhance its stability". Joint helicopters between the U.S. and the Turkish forces were monitoring the process of filling the trenches in western villages of Ras al-Ain the next day, as a complementation of the first phase of the implementation of the US-Turkish agreement. The last group of People’s Protection Units (YPG) on the borders between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad withdrew on September 21, after destroying their trenches in three bordering points east of Tal Abyad, starting the second US-Turkish patrol on September 24. As Turkish threats of a military attack on "East Euphrates" continued, the third and last US-Turkish patrol was conducted on October 4. The ongoing Turkish threats coincided with statements by the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department, which confirmed Washington's continued determination to abide by the security mechanism, stressing that, the U.S. continues to achieve its primary objective in the region, which is to eliminate ISIS.
The US-Turkish agreement hasn't been implemented by the two-states declaration. Turkey, which wanted to "address its concerns" on the borders, and which international parties call them "legitimate concerns", began its military offensives on October 9 with a ground incursion and airstrikes. Not only it targeted the "safe zone", but it bypassed all northern Syrian cities on the borders, from Derik (Malikiyah) in the far north-east to Kobani, causing war crimes which weren't limited to ethnic cleansing, but exceeded to commit crimes against humanity and the use of internationally prohibited weapons.
The US, which its representative of foreign affairs, "George" said in a meeting of the "the security mechanism" that, it is negotiating with Turkey on behalf of the SDF to guarantee the interests of the latter in the best way. While the U.S. Special Forces official "General Carl" said that, "the US forces will remain in the region if Turkey brings in its military forces," stressing that, the agreement of "the security mechanism" doesn't allow Turkey's entry, and that the agreement doesn't include any step which allows Turkey's fixed presence in Syria, came out with dissenting views after the attacks.
The Turkish attacks, which followed the phone call between the U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan on October 6, accompanied by new decisions from the White House, including the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from the bordering areas, and after that, the withdrawal from the most areas of northern Syria, the first U.S. military convoy left northeastern Syria to Iraqi Kurdistan Region on October 21, prompting Kurdish officials to accuse the U.S. administration of failing to keep its promises.
The US forces withdrew from their points in the village of Tal Arqam (5 km west of Ras al-Ain) a day after the call, creating fears among the inhabitants of the city which had been emptied. The withdrawal wasn't mentioned at the meeting, on the contrary, during his stay, General Carl said that "the forces at the points near Tal Arqam will remain in place", confirming the bringing of additional U.S. troops to the area to help conduct patrols. General Carl, who stressed during the meeting that, United States relationship with the SDF is based on transparency and openness, said that any Kurdish-Turkish conflict, puts the U.S. position concerning the files of maintaining stability and ISIS elimination in danger, adding, "the issue of U.S. forces leaving Syria won't be near", as the U.S. administration has begun to develop new strategies for the continued fight against ISIS.
But two weeks of Turkish military attacks were enough to doubt the seriousness of the U.S. concerns about being careful about ISIS not to return, where the indiscriminate Turkish bombardment on Qamishli outskirts caused the escape of several detained ISIS members. For their part, the Turkish affiliated armed opposition militias, and after its incursion to the city of Ein Issa, had taken hundreds of women and children of ISIS of Arab and foreign nationalities to unknown places.
After hundreds of casualties, displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and the evacuation of Ras al-Ain and Tal-Abyad towns, along with shelling which targeted vital centers and public facilities, the local people of northern Syria are waiting for a commitment by one of the parties involved in the Syrian crisis to treat the chaos done in two weeks of attacks.