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US Sends Heavy Arms to Kurds after Freezing Its Support to ‘Free Army’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A US soldier stands guard during a meeting between the US special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS and the Tabqa Civil Council, in the town of Tabqa, Syria, on June 29. DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP

Beirut, Moscow- Syrian activists published on Thursday photos of heavy vehicles sent by the US Army to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria, only hours after reports said the US administration of Donald Trump decided that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ends supporting the Free Syrian Army, which fights the Syrian regime.

The Washington Post said even backers of the program have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria in 2015.

Officials also told the newspaper that the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia.

Russian parliamentarians expressed satisfaction with the decision and the Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed it.

However, Moscow preferred to remain cautious before Washington officially confirms the news.

The decision to stop arming the Syrian opposition came following US-Russian talks that led to a decision to stop the fighting in the countryside of Deraa, southwestern Syria.

On Thursday, the opposition website Kuluna Shuraka (All4Syria) quoted activists as saying that “fighting erupted in Namer on the Damascus-Deraa highway after regime forces tried to enter the town, located 20 kilometers away from the Jordanian borders, and to move out Iran-backed Iraqi militias.”

Meanwhile, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham called on Thursday for adopting a “plan that unifies the liberated zones in Syria, to be led by one political and military leadership and a self-controlled administration.”

The announcement came as a response to an earlier statement issued by Ahrar al-Sham, which called for a ceasefire between the two sides in the countryside of Idlib.

On Wednesday, reports said Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham have engaged in heavy fighting in the area.

Tahrir al-Sham controlled Ahrar al-Sham’s checkpoint along the Hawarin-Kafr Nabal road, the town of Hazarin and another checkpoint at the Western entrance of the town of Kafruma in Southern Idlib.