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In Syria, Russians are now patrolling the line with Turkey



Russian troops patrol a contact line between Syrian and Turkish forces, a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. The line runs along the northwestern borders of Manbij County.

Russia now stands behind Syrian troops stationed in the region. On Tuesday, Russian President for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev told TASS state news agency on Tuesday that Moscow "would not allow" clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces on the spot.

Turkey stated that its purpose was to clear "terrorists" from the area and to install Syrian refugees who had taken refuge from the Turkish side of the border.

Russia's growing role

Already the strongest foreign power operating in Syria, the Kremlin's influence is likely to increase after the US withdrawal, with Russian troops filling the void left by the Americans.

Russia is a key ally in the struggle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has played a decisive role in helping the Syrian military, in addition to defeating rebels to overthrow al-Assad.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Syrian government forces conquered two areas in northern Syria on Tuesday ̵

1; more than 1,000 square kilometers around the city of Manbij and an area in Raqqa around the city of Tabka.

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Russia also interrupted initial talks between the Kurds and the Syrian government, which took place at the Russian air base of Khmeimim elsewhere, Lavrentiev confirmed on Tuesday. Turkey's offensive in Syria

The Turkish attack last week came just days after US President Donald Trump decided to relocate a small contingent of about 50 U.S. troops away from the border area – an act criticized by many, including US Republicans and military personnel clearing the way for Turkey. The Kurds are valuable allies of the United States in their victory against ISIS.
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Turkish President Recep Erdogan reiterated on Tuesday that his military operation was aimed at "eliminating the threat of terror". The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by Kurdish regions operating in the area, are led by a militia known as the People's Protection Squad, which Turkey considers a terrorist group. Turkey also hopes to move more than 3.5 million Syrian Arabs outside Turkey and in the area.

But its operations have drawn criticism among other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg saying the attack must end. Several countries have also stopped arms sales to Turkey since the start of the offensive.


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