The French Press Agency quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the Russian forces sent reinforcements to the areas controlled by the Kurdish forces and the Syrian army in the Aleppo governorate, where Turkey is preparing to launch a ground operation.

While Moscow accused Washington of supporting Kurdish factions, Ankara renewed its emphasis on continuing the operation.

Residents of Tal Rifaat reported to the French Agency that the Russian military reinforcements arrived in the city and its surroundings, noting that the Russian forces placed a new barrier at the contact line separating the areas controlled by the Kurdish forces and those under the control of Ankara and the Syrian factions loyal to it.

These are the first Russian reinforcements in the region since Turkey launched air strikes 10 days ago, which it said targeted Kurdish fighters.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units, had asked Russia to intervene with Ankara to prevent the implementation of its threats to launch a new ground offensive against its areas of control.

imminent attack

An official Turkish source confirmed to Al-Jazeera on Wednesday that Turkey had completed all the military and logistical preparations necessary to implement the possible ground operation in northern Syria, referring to information about the withdrawal of US forces from some locations.

The source said that the goal of the first phase of the military operation is to control Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Ayn al-Arab Kobani, which are currently controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which is the main component of what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The source confirmed that the military operations will be carried out accurately and without any threat to the safety of the American and Russian forces, as he put it.

Russian accusation against Washington

Meanwhile, Russia has accused the United States of supporting the separatist sentiments of some Syrian Kurdish leaders, and of openly pursuing a line to separate these territories from the rest of the country.

This came in the words of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said - at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday - that what she described as the illegal military presence of the United States in Syria is the main obstacle to reconciliation between the self-proclaimed administration in the northeastern part of Syria and its government.

And she continued: We are making efforts to encourage dialogue between representatives of the self-proclaimed administration in northeastern Syria and the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, to return the Euphrates to the sphere of the Syrian state.

She added that the main obstacle is still the "illegal" US military presence.

Speaking about the operation launched by Turkey against terrorism in Syria, Zakharova said that Moscow is working closely with Turkish and Syrian partners to prevent an escalation of the situation in northern Syria, in light of Ankara's declared plans to launch a ground military operation in Syrian territory.

French "concern".

For its part, France expressed to Ankara its "deep concern" about the Turkish strikes in Syria and Iraq, which "threaten the progress" made in the fight against the Islamic State, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense on Wednesday.

French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecorno said - in a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, on Tuesday - that these strikes "lead to an escalation of tensions that threaten the stability of the region and the progress made by the international coalition over several years in combating the Islamic State group," led by the United States and other countries. others, according to the statement.

He warned that intervention in Syria would "threaten the safety of coalition personnel operating in northeastern Syria, and would help the escape of Islamic State fighters."

Turkish response

In response to criticism of the Turkish operation in Syria, Turkey's representative to the United Nations, Feridun Sinirlioglu, said that the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces constitute a fatal threat to Turkish national security, pointing out that the organization has repeatedly targeted Turkey's borders over the past two years.

He reminded the countries critical of Turkey's operations in northern Syria in the Security Council of the bombing that took place in Istanbul on November 13, killing 6 people and injuring more than 80 others.

Sinirlioglu stressed that terrorist attacks targeting civilians cannot be tolerated, and that no country can tolerate deliberate attacks against its lands and people.

He stressed that Turkey will continue counter-terrorism operations under the legitimate right of self-defense contained in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, and the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

He described the statements that Turkey's operations against the Kurdish factions will negatively affect the fight against the Islamic State, as divorced from reality.

A few days ago, Turkey launched the "claw-sword" operation against the Kurdish units in northern and northeastern Syria, after accusing them of masterminding the bombing that took place on Istiklal Street in Istanbul, killing 6 people, which the Kurdish militants denied.

The Turkish forces launched air and ground strikes on the positions of the Kurdish units in the countryside of the governorates of Aleppo, Hasakah and Raqqa, and Turkish officials confirmed that the strikes resulted in the killing of hundreds of Kurdish militants.

For his part, US Defense Department spokesman Patrick Ryder said yesterday, Tuesday, that Washington continues its contacts with the Turkish side regarding the escalation in northeastern Syria, and that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will speak with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar soon.

He continued, "We urge restraint amid the tensions in that region, as a ground invasion will greatly threaten what the world has achieved against the state organization, and destabilize the region."