US Working With Russia to Hand Over Patrols Between Turkish and Syrian Armies in Manbij
IMAGE: Russian military police patrolling area around Manbij (AFP Photo/Delil SOULEIMAN – 2019)
21st Century Wire
This morning, Russian military officials announced they are now patrolling the area surrounding Syria’s northern town of Manbij, specifically in the areas which separate Turkish troops and the Syrian Arab Army soldiers.
According to a Russian Defense Ministry statement issued Tuesday, military police are being positioned in the area northwest of Manbij, “along the line of contact between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey.”
Officials have indicated that they are in communication with the Turkish military leadership to ensure that patrols are observing necessary deconfliction protocols.
More interestingly, reports suggest that the Pentagon has been working together with Moscow in order engineer a seamless handover of positions previously held by US forces – to Russian military police. According to one senior Pentagon official who spoke to Newsweek, some US personnel have stayed to behind to assist Russian forces, “having been in the area for longer, has been assisting the Russian forces to navigate through previously unsafe areas quickly.”
“It is essentially a handover,” said the official to Newsweek. “However, it’s a quick out, not something that will include walk-throughs, etc., everything is about making out with as much as possible of our things while destroying any sensitive equipment that cannot be moved.”
This latest move by Moscow should allay any international concerns that Trump’s sudden withdrawal of US forces would create a power vacuum that might lead to some sort of Turkish ‘massacre’ of Kurds. The sheer volume of alarmist western propaganda promoting this scenario has been incessant over the last week. The UK’s Guardian newspaper even went so far as promoting the idea that a US withdrawal would result in “genocide” of Syrian Kurds.
In order to help promulgate the idea of a Turkish massacre, America’s ABC used old footage from a Kentucky gun range, claiming it was Turkey firing on the Kurdish population in Syria.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) October 14, 2019
This latest news come immediately on the heels of a new deal struck yesterday between Kurdish officials in northeastern Syria and the government in Damascus allowing the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to takeover key strategic positions along Syria’s northern border with Turkey. The agreement also includes the abolishing of the previously US-backed SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), and remaining militias to be incorporated into the Syrian Republic’s Armed Forces including “all the current Kurdish forces and military groups joining the 5th Corps (Assault Legion) under Russian control.”
1/ The abolishment of the #SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), with all the current Kurdish forces and military groups joining the 5th Corps (Assault Legion) under Russian control
— Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) October 14, 2019
As newly unified SAA and Russian military police establish positions around Manbij, there are still remaining pockets of Turkish-backed former FSA (Free Syrian Army) ‘opposition’ fighters who are now rebranded as ‘Syrian National Army.’ These opposition militants could still cause problems in maintaining peace and stability along proscribed battle lines.
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Author Patrick Henningsen is an American writer and global affairs analyst and founder of independent news and analysis site 21st Century Wire, and is host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally over the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR). He has written for a number of international publications and has done extensive on-the-ground reporting in the Middle East including work in Syria and Iraq.
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21st Century Wire is an alternative news agency designed to enlighten, inform and educate readers about world events which are not always covered in the mainstream media.
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