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Russia will not allow clashes between Syrian and Turkish forces

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Mark Wood

Mark served in the Marine Corps as a Lance corporal before retiring to spend time with his wife and young son. Today, he works part-time in construction and has numerous hobbies that keep him active. He founded Cole of Duty to write about military news around the world. He loves to discuss politics and the US budget, often debating with his wife and coworkers about who ought to be elected in 2020.

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Mark Wood

On October 15, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe again criticized the withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria, which gave the green light to Turkey to lead the offensive against Syrian Kurdish militia that it has promised for a long time, even before the end of the “caliphate” proclaimed by the Islamic State.

This Turkish offensive is “both permitted and reinforced in its effects by the unilateral withdrawal decided by the Americans,” said Mr. Philippe, during the session of questions to the government, the National Assembly. This intervention is “devastating for our collective security, with the inevitable resurgence of Daesh in northeastern Syria and probably elsewhere in northwestern Iraq, so the destabilization of a regime that does not need that.”

“Syrian government forces have taken full control of the city of Manbij and surrounding localities,” the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier. And the latter actually specifies that the Russian military police “conducts patrols at the northwestern borders of the region, along the line of contact” between Syrian and Turkish troops.

However, on 14 October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again claimed that Manbij was one of the objectives of Operation “Source of Peace,” which he had ordered to be launched five days earlier.

“We are about to implement our plan for Manbij” and make the city “Arab people,” ie “its legitimate owners,” said Erdogan. On October 15, he reiterated that the operation would continue “until our goals are met. And to insist: “We will quickly secure the region from Manbij to our border with Iraq.”

But now that the United States has left, Russia now has all the cards in hand, since Syrian forces can not do anything without military support and Turkey is leaning more and more towards it.

“I think not only that [Turkish-Syrian] clashes are not in anyone’s interest but that they would be unacceptable. And that is why, of course, we will not let things get there,” said Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian special envoy for Syria.

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