Last Minute: Russia Orders Standstill of Syrian, Iranian, Hizballah forces in Syria
An order to remain stationary was issued Thursday night, Jan. 26, by the Russian Commander in Syria Lt. Gen. Alexander Zhuravlev to the high commands of the Syrian army and of Iranian and Shiite forces positioned in Aleppo as well as Hizballah forces in all parts of Syria. Gen. Zhuravlev, acting on instructions from Moscow, prohibited all those forces from moving out of their current positions as of noon local time.
DEBKA Weekly’s military and intelligence sources report that the ban was detailed and included the opening of new war or battlefronts anywhere in Syria and the transfer of Syrian air force units between bases.
The order came from Moscow to prevent military reprisals for the Putin-Trump deal in Syria.
The order does not mention penalties for disobedience, but the tone was peremptory. The three army commanders did not need reminding that the Russians are capable of using their electronic warfare systems to disrupt unauthorized military movements, jam their communications, and withhold fuel, ammo and spare parts to create havoc in their armies.
Moscow has never resorted to extreme action of this kind in previous Russian military interventions in Middle East lands, such as Egypt and Syria. The decision was taken shortly after the Kremlin was notified that US President Donald Trump had decided to approve the plan to join forces with President Vladimir Putin in Syria.