Daily Beast: Russia appears to be trying to fill the vacuum left by President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. The Kremlin said Tuesday that its military units have been patrolling territory in the no-man’s-land between Syrian and Turkish forces. The U.S. had maintained two military bases in the same area until Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry said its military police were stationed at “the northwestern borders of Manbij district along the line of contact of the Syrian Arab Republic military and the Turkish military.”
The Russians are coordinating “with the Turkish side,” according to the statement. A video on Twitter appeared to show a Russian journalist filming himself walking around a deserted U.S. military base in northern Syria. Russia and Turkey will soon be the only international armies in the area after an international alliance of counterterrorism forces, including French and British soldiers, announced Tuesday they would also depart after the American withdrawal.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey — Russia said on Tuesday that its military units were patrolling territory in northern Syria between Syrian and Turkish forces after the American withdrawal from the area, underscoring the sudden loss of United States influence in the area and illustrating how the power balance in the region has shifted rapidly in the past week.
The announcement that Russian forces were now patrolling an area where the United States had until Monday maintained two military bases appeared to signal that Moscow was moving to fill a security void left by the withdrawal of both the American military and its partners in an international counterterrorism mission.
Videos circulating on social media appeared to show a Russian-speaking man filming himself walking around a recently evacuated United States military base in northern Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that its military police, which had already established a presence in other parts of Syria, were patrolling “the northwestern borders of Manbij district along the line of contact of the Syrian Arab Republic military and the Turkish military.”
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