Russia Withdraws Troops From Afrin, Voices Concern as Turkey Starts Operation

Saturday, January 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

The Russian Army Command in Syria is undertaking security measures for personnel present in Afrin, after the launch of the Turkish military operation against the Kurdish forces.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement Russia was withdrawing troops from Syria’s Afrin targeted by Turkish offensive.

“The command of the Russian group of troops in Syria has taken measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen located in the district of Afrin, where the Turkish Armed Forces launched a special operation against the Kurdish armed groups,” the statement read.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Saturday that Moscow was closely following the situation in Syria’s Afrin and was concerned by the news about Turkish military engagement in the city.

“According to the incoming reports, on January 20, Turkey started using the units of its armed forces near Afrin in northwestern Syria. The Turkish General Staff has announced that the Turkish military shelled the positions of the Syrian Kurds in response to provocative shelling by militants of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party. Moscow has received this information with concern. We are closely monitoring the development of the situation,” the statement said.

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