Russian military forces move into Syria to help Turkey keep Kurds away from border

Fox News 3 weeks ago
The president teases a statement on the status of the Syria cease-fire, Kurdish troops and ISIS prisoners in the region; Lucas Tomlinson reports from the Pentagon.

Russian military forces are now patrolling the Syrian border Wednesday as part of a joint effort with Turkey to keep Kurds out of the volatile region.

The movements come a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached an agreement that would transform the map of northeast Syria, installing their forces along the border and filling the void left by the abrupt withdrawal of American troops. The Kurdish fighters, who once relied on the U.S. forces as protection from Turkey, were given a deadline of next Tuesday evening to pull back from border areas they have not already left.

"It's quite obvious that if the Kurdish units don't withdraw with their weapons then Syrian border guards and Russian military police will have to step back,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday, “and the remaining Kurdish units will be steamrolled by the Turkish army."

How Syria might look following the implementation of the Russia-Turkish deal. (AP)
How Syria might look following the implementation of the Russia-Turkish deal. (AP)

Turkey considers the Kurdish fighters terrorists because of their links to Kurdish insurgents in Turkey. It has demanded they retreat from the entire border region, creating a "safe zone" where Turkey could also settle some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees on its soil.

Kurdish forces completed withdrawing on Tuesday from a stretch of territory 75 miles wide along the border and 19 miles deep between the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad, the Associated Press reported.

The new agreement with Russia allows Turkey to keep sole control over that area. For the rest of the northeastern border, Russian and Syrian government forces will move in to ensure the Kurdish fighters leave.

Turkish soldiers secure the Syrian town of Ras al Ayn, in northeastern Syria on Wednesday. (AP/DHA)
Turkish soldiers secure the Syrian town of Ras al Ayn, in northeastern Syria on Wednesday. (AP/DHA)

The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that a convoy of military police had crossed the Euphrates River and deployed in the Syrian border town of Kobane.

"The military police will help protect the population, maintain order, patrol the designated areas and assist in the withdrawal of Kurdish units and their weapons 30 kilometers away from the border," it added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu said the deal with Russia would continue until a lasting political solution for Syria is reached. He also said that Turkey agreed not to conduct joint patrols in the city of Qamishli at the eastern end of the border, because of Russian concerns they could lead to a confrontation between Turkish troops and Syrian government forces in the area.

Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari, meanwhile, told The Associated Press Wednesday that American troops that have left Syria for Iraq will only be "transiting" the country and would leave within four weeks, heading either to Kuwait, Qatar or the United States.

Al-Shammari spoke after meeting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who earlier this week had said the American forces from Syria would remain in Iraq to fight the Islamic State group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Source link
Read also:
Reuters › 1 month ago
Iran offered on Saturday to engage Syrian Kurds, Syria's government and Turkey in talks to establish security along the Turkish-Syrian border following Turkey's military incursion into northern Syria to fight Kurdish forces.
The New York Times › 1 month ago
Iran offered on Saturday to engage Syrian Kurds, Syria's government and Turkey in talks to establish security along the Turkish-Syrian border following Turkey's military incursion into northern Syria to fight Kurdish forces.
The Sun › 1 month ago
TURKISH troops have begun their attack on the Syrian Kurds as pics show dozens of military vehicles heading to the border. The country fired the first shots against the Kurds by bombing a crucial supply route on the Syria-Iraq border last night. And...
Reuters › 2 weeks ago
Russian military police have patrolled along a new route on Syria-Turkey border, RIA news agency reported on Thursday, quoting the Russian defense ministry.
CNN › Politics › 1 month ago
Turkey's military is set to cross into northern Syria "shortly," the Turkish communications director said, as part of an impending offensive to move US-backed Kurdish forces away from its border.
The Sun › 1 month ago
TURKISH forces are reported to have mistakenly shelled a contingent of US special forces troops in northern Syria. The news comes after an offensive launched by Turkey against Kurdish forces in the area met with international condemnation. Turkey...
Fox News › 0 month ago
Russian military units have been sent to patrol near the Syria-Turkey border, sparking fears Moscow is moving to fill a security vacuum after U.S. troops started withdrawing from the region last week.
Reuters › 2 weeks ago
Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday the Russian military police had started patrolling areas in Syria near the Turkish border, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a Russian officer.
The New York Times › 2 weeks ago
Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday the Russian military police had started patrolling areas in Syria near the Turkish border, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a Russian officer.
Sputnik International › 2 days ago
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian military police and the Turkish border service have started their fourth joint patrol in a new area in Syria's north, at the border with Turkey, and the route will make around 80 kilometers (49 miles), the Russian Defence...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR