Race for post-US Syria begins? Russia asks Turkey to stay out even as Ankara plans attack
Moscow, Dec 29: After the US announced to withdraw its troops from Syria, the field is open for other powers to play and two of the frontline powers that aim to fill the US's shoes in the region are Russia and Turkey. The latter reportedly convinced the US to move out of Syria and now has plans to execute its own script in the war-torn country, especially with regard to the Kurdish fighters who Ankara targets to neutralise.
However, Turkey though has much geopolitical gain to make in Syria, Russia could be yet another obstacle. The Kremlin has reportedly asked Ankara to stay away from Syria and let its ally Bashar al-Assad to reclaim the territories after the US pullout.
According to reports by agencies and UK's Daily Mail, the Russian foreign ministry has said that it expects to territory to be handed back to Assad's forces after US President Donald Trump decided to pull out from Syria, which has been witnessing a year into its eighth year now killing hundreds of thousands of people, on December 22.
Turkey said it is working with the US to coordinate the withdrawal of the American forces but remains firm to clear the Kurdish fighters, who were backed by Washington to fight the Islamic State, from the town of Manbij in northern Syria near its own border. Pictures emerged on Saturday showing Turkish military vehicles and troop carriers being sent to the country's southern border with Syria.
Meanwhile, Syrian dictator Assad's troops along with Russian forces have also been deployed to the town's front line areas.
On Friday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that territories in Syrian eastern parts should be transferred under the control of Damascus as per the international law. She also said that Russia and Turkey had closely coordinated their actions in Syria but did not divulge anything further.