Damascus must take over E. Syria after U.S. troops withdrawal - Moscow


Syrian government forces have entered the country's northern border region of Manbij controlled by Kurdish fighters, local sources told Al Jazeera and Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency.

Ankara has said it'll deploy its forces to Jarabulus and Manbij in Syria. Turkish troops and their allied Syrian militias are building up along the frontier between them and the Kurds near the Euphrates River and the city of Manbij.

Ankara views the YPG militia as a sister "terrorist" organization of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

USA forces are still patrolling near Manbij and nothing has changed so far, said Sharfan Darwish, spokesman for the SDF-allied Manbij Military Council that holds the town.

Without US backing, it would definitely prove more hard for other western powers such as Italy, France and Britain to stay the course in supporting insurgent forces in Syria.

We can certainly expect a surge of Russian influence in the Middle East after the American troops have left.

France is part of the global anti-terrorism coalition led by the U.S. in Syria and Iraq.

Preventing "friendly fire" with the US Turkey's delay in launching the operation does not mean the country has given up on operations to be conducted in the future, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said last week.

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"Especially if he was going to say he has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, because those troops can be staged to deal with ISIS", regular host Dana Perino agreed.

For the past week Erdogan has threatened to launch a full-scale cross border assault on US -backed Kurdish forces in Syria, which Turkey has long considered a terrorist extension of the outlawed PKK.

Israel's air force has struck scores of targets it describes as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in the Syrian conflict.

Then President Donald Trump yielded to a suggestion from Erdogan to pull USA forces from Syria, where they have been fighting Islamic State., shocking even those in his inner circle and leading to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Netanyahu said that "Operation Northern Shield", -a part of Israel's effort to thwart outside threats-will continue to eliminate Hezbollah attack tunnels. "What we can observe now at the Front, is the reinforcement of all forces to full readiness for the battle", said Hamud.

The United States has also told the U.N. Security Council that it is committed to the "permanent destruction" of ISIS and would keep pushing for the withdrawal of Iranian-backed forces in the country.

Reports by USA media indicate that Trump administration has ordered the U.S. military to start withdrawing up to 7,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months.