Russia to deploy additional forces in northern Syria

The Russian Defense Ministry is sending additional military police to northern Syria to “normalize the situation” along the Turkish-Syrian border, the military department announced.

According to Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, the additional Russian military police forces will be deployed along the border between Syria and Turkey. He did not clarify whether the reinforcements would come from divisions already stationed elsewhere in Syria, or whether another battalion of military police would be brought in from Russia.

Konashenkov also commented on a statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that Ankara might start a new military operation if the militarized Kurdish groups do not leave the border region of north-eastern Syria. The Russian general said that the statement was surprising to Russia, which has “fully met the obligations it took on”, ensuring the withdrawal of Kurdish groups from the Turkish border.

“The disengagement of conflicting sides has been brought about ahead of schedule. We are jointly patrolling Syrian border territory with the Turkish Armed Forces,” he added.

The additional military police are probably needed to organize joint patrols with Turkish border guards in the regions where pro-Turkish militants and Kurdish armed groups have disengaged. Despite the Kurdish withdrawal, the situation in the region remains tense.

  Russia, Syria, Turkey