Russia patrolling between Turkish and Syrian forces after U.S. troops withdraw

Russia announced Tuesday that its units were patrolling between Turkish and Syrian military forces near the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in a sign that Moscow, a key ally of the Syrian government, was moving to fill a security vacuum after U.S. troops withdrew from the area.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that military police in northwestern Manbij were patrolling “along the line of contact between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey.” A senior Russian official said Moscow was working to prevent a military confrontation between Ankara and Damascus.

“No one wants this kind of clash to happen. It’s completely inadmissible. So, of course, we will not allow that,” Alexander Lavrentyev, Russia’s special presidential envoy for Syria, told reporters in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Interfax news agency.

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