A Russian Defense Ministry statement said that military police in northwestern Manbij were patrolling “along the line of contact between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey.” The statement said the Russian military was also “interacting” with Turkey’s government.
According to a source in Aleppo, the Syrian Army deployed a large force from the provincial capital to the southern outskirts of Manbij as the government holds talks with the SDF about preventing the Turkish Army and their militant allies from taking control of the town.
A British SAS soldier and a US commando who died in Syria last year were killed by “friendly fire” and not an ISIS roadside bomb, as was previously claimed.
It showed a group of around a dozen khaki-clad armed military police driving through villages in jeeps and lorries flying the Russian flag.
A video has surfaced this week of a group of U.S. Army personnel coming face-to-face with the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) 1st Armored Division outside the city of Manbij.
According to reports, the U.S. military went up to the 1st Division and requested that the they remove their flag from the area.
The Syrian army announced on Friday that its forces had entered the northern city of Manbij following a call by the Kurdish YPG for government troops to control the city and „protect these areas against a Turkish invasion.“
Turkey and the US began joint patrols in neutral zones near Manbij this week. Turkey considers the Kurdish forces in northern Syria terrorists and has threatened military operations against them in Manbij and eastward. The US has said that Turkish forces will not enter Manbij city and the joint patrols are only to “complement” local security.
The United States and Turkey have started training together to carry out joint patrols soon in northern Syria’s Manbij area, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday, despite tense relations between the two countries.
Hawkish Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made a surprise visit to Syria on Monday, stopping off in the city of Manbij, which is held by US and Turkish forces. Graham delivered a speech clearly designed to attack the idea of a US pullout from Syria.