I saw the following video last Saturday (from a different source) and also another one that claimed the US had blocked a Russian column. I was eager to report the stories but decided to await clarification. I’m glad I waited.
“The ultimate symbolic video? (MUST SEE)” – The Saker
As much as I respect The Saker, I have to say that this is telling only half of the story and therefore may be quite misleading reporting.
The incident, which is surrounded in mystery and uncertain circumstances and therefore remains obscure – it could have been a surprise to both parties (who knows?), but the Russians clearly had weight of numbers and armaments – took place on 17 Jan and followed the large Russian reinforcement of Qamishli two days earlier from the direction of Manbij (https://southfront.org/large-russian-convoy-arrives-i..).
The 17 Jan incident reported by The Saker took place at Tal-Tamr on the same M4 motorway from Manbij to Qamishli as the earlier column had used on 15 Jan (with no mention of a US presence on the road).
Whether coincidentally or not (who can say?), Turkey around that time requested the US to beef up support for its terrorist allies in the Idlib region and who knows whether the Tal-Tamr area was not also mentioned in that call. Turkeys allies north of Tal-Tamr were probably shitting themselves at the passing of the first Russian convoy (https://southfront.org/ankara-asked-u-s-to-restore-su..).
Whatever the case, a US presence was at the Tal-Tamr M4 crossroad on the 17th but did not interfere with the second Russian convoy. Perhaps just showing the flag?
A day later, 18 Jan, someone caused a road block of local traffic (the Americans? who knows?) somewhere on the road from Qamishli to al-Malikiyah (where a Russian convoy out of Qamishli was making a routine patrol) passing the nearby oilfields near Rumailan, Rmelan, Ramelan (or any number of other spellings) which the Americans are kindly ‘taking care of’ ??? https://southfront.org/u-s-forces-block-russian-patro..
The Russian convoy (which looked to be lightly equipped this time) was stopped by the Americans (or the traffic snarl-up, or both) and requested to return the way they had come – which I think occurred. The cause of the Russians being on that road was said to be due to recent rain which meant a diversion from the dirt roads they normally used on that run (there not being any major roads out to that remote area).
Was this a case of the Americans being bloody-minded, having something to hide, or the Russians cheekily poking the eagle – knowing they had considerable backup in the area? We may never know.
But I think it is fairly certain that the arrival of the convoy on the 15th and possibly the one on the 17th also, took the Americans by surprise – and they perhaps needed a show of strength on the 18th – albeit mixed up with plenty of civilians temporarily immobilised as shields, or witnesses – to restore some lost aplomb.
Again, whatever the case, this is not a triumphant march past of Russian military might to deflate any remaining US front line troops confidence in their already undeniably shaky and unsteady position in the region. I think they would be well aware of that.
Not to mention, and perhaps it would have been better for me not to, but I will, there is the huge potential risk arising from these two forces being in such close proximity to each other, of possible repercussions if any one of them on either side were to be accidentally shot by the other.