‘Land swap’ between Turkey & Syria – an option to avoid standoff over Manbij?
29 Dec, 2018
The Kurdish-held city of Manbij is a huge conundrum for Damascus, Ankara and Moscow as no one wants to lose lands, troops or allies. To stop a northern Syria standoff, it all could be sliced into areas of influence, analysts say.
A high-ranking Turkish delegation arrived in Moscow on Saturday, only a day after international media broke news on Kurdish militias inviting Syrian forces to enter Manbij – a strategic hub in the north of the country – before the Turks do. Syria’s military proclaimed they “raised the flag” over Manbij, but there have been no independent reports confirming the moving of troops into the city.
In the meantime, Turkish-backed militants also went on the move – but they too stopped short of marching into Manbij. All the while Ankara has been threatening to crush the Kurdish resistance in the area where the Americans – who are in the process of pulling out – and the French have their outposts.
Read more at https://www.rt.com/news/447698-syria-manbij-russia-turkey-talks/
Russia to Coordinate ‘Eradicating Terrorist Threat’ With Turkey in Syria
Dec 29, 2018
Top Russian and Turkish ministers agreed during a meeting in Moscow on Saturday to maintain cooperation in northern Syria as U.S. forces prepare to withdraw and Turkey threatens to launch a military operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces controlling nearly a third of the country.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said before the talks began that they would focus on the situation in and around Idlib, as well as “what can and should be done” when the U.S. withdraws from Syria.
After the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that much of the discussion focused on the pending U.S. withdrawal, and that Russia and Turkey managed to agree on coordinating their steps in Syria “to ultimately eradicate the terrorist threat.”
Read more at https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/russia-to-coordinate-eradicating-terrorist-threat-with-turkey-in-syria-1.6788830