Turkey remains inflexible. Despite various calls from the international community to stop the offensive in northern Syria, suspensions of arms exports from several European countries or American sanctions against it, Ankara says "continue to fight all groups terrorists, including Daesh, whether the world accepts or not support us. "
"A dirty market"
Turkish communications director Fahrettin Altun, who was questioned by AFP on Wednesday (October 15th), also accused Kurdish YPG militias of "deliberately targeting civilians at the border, including journalists, before concluding a dirty market with the Assad regime ". Considered "terrorists" by Ankara, the YPG are allies of the West in the fight against the jihadists of the Islamic State organization.
Syrian forces in Manbij
"This agreement, which impedes the Turkish operation to create a security zone, already has consequences on the ground," said Ludovic de Foucaud, correspondent for France 24 based in Istanbul, Turkey. Damascus forces began deploying in parts of northern Syria and took control of the city of Manbij, says the Russian Ministry of Defense.
"Manbij changes hands for the fourth time in eight years," says Ludovic de Foucaud. The city, located 30 kilometers from the Turkish border, was one of the first fiefs of the Islamic State group in January 2014, before passing, two years later, under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Since July 2018, it is controlled by a military council composed of Arab and Kurdish fighters.
The ministry added that Russian military police "conduct patrols at the northwestern borders of the region, along the line of contact" between Syrian and Turkish forces.
Mike Pence in Turkey on Wednesday
Russia's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said Moscow would not allow clashes between the Turkish and Syrian armies. Such clashes "are not in anyone's interest and would be unacceptable," he said, quoted by the state agency Tass from Abu Dhabi, where Russian President Vladimir Putin is traveling Tuesday.
The Turkish offensive provoked an international outcry and the UN Security Council is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday. US Vice President Mike Pence is due to leave for Turkey "in the next 24 hours" to negotiate a ceasefire.