Reports were coming out of Syria that US-backed coalition units and Russian troops were operating in very close proximity to one another. In neighboring villages, they each tried to calm rival factions that are both fighting ISIS
The Telegraph is reporting that the two superpowers have each sent troops into the area of the northern town of Manbij to slow the tensions and stop the fighting between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The SDF which is led by 500 US Special Forces advisors is leading an attack against ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria at Raqqa. As of March 6, they had advanced within 5 miles of the capital city.
Several US armored vehicles flying the stars and stripes were seen patrolling Manbij and the surrounding countryside over the weekend, in what the Pentagon called an effort to “reassure” allies.
“Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve has taken this deliberate action to reassure Coalition members & partner forces, deter aggression and keep focus on defeating Isil,” Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said on Twitter.
The Manbij military council earlier asked Russian and Syrian troops to form a buffer zone between Manbij and Turkish forces in al-Bab, 25 miles to the southwest.
Col Gen Sergei Rudskoi, a spokesman for the Russian general staff, confirmed on Friday that its commanders in Syria had negotiated an agreement for troops loyal to Damascus to take over several Kurdish-controlled villages.
The Turks consider the SDF an extension of the Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey. With the Russians and US troops in very close proximity to one another, this is the kind of slippery slope that much care must be taken to avoid a confrontation.
To read the Telegraph’s entire article click here:
Photo courtesy DOD