Russia-backed Syrian forces step in as U.S. retreats

Russia-backed Syrian forces step in as U.S. retreatsBEIRUT/ANKARA (Reuters) – Russia-backed Syrian forces wasted no time in taking advantage of an abrupt U.S. retreat from Syria on Monday, deploying deep inside Kurdish-held territory south of the Turkish frontier less than 24 hours after Washington announced a full withdrawal. Washington’s Kurdish former allies said they invited in the government troops as an “emergency measure” to help fend off an assault by Turkey, launched last week with “a green light” from President Donald Trump that the Kurds describe as a betrayal. The Syrian government’s deployment on Monday is a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad and his principal ally Russia, who gained a military foothold across the biggest swathe of the country that had been beyond their grasp.



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