Russia starts withdrawing troops from Syria's Afrin
Move comes ahead of Turkey’s expected military operation in city
Russia on Friday started withdrawing its military assets ahead of Turkey’s expected operation in Syria’s northwestern city of Afrin.
The Russian security forces deployed in northeast Kafr Jana region of Afrin city started leaving the area, according to reliable sources in Afrin.
Some of the Russian security assets have reached Nubl and Zahra towns, on the outskirts of Afrin, which were currently held by the Assad regime.
An operation in Afrin -- a region bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces -- is widely expected in the wake of Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which ended in March 2017.
The Bashar al-Assad regime handed over Afrin to the PYD/PKK without putting up a fight, and there are currently some 8,000-10,000 terrorists in the area, according to information gathered by Anadolu Agency.
After Turkey warned of their presence in Afrin, terrorists are now hiding out in shelters and pits in residential areas there.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.
Reporting by Mohamad Misto and Levent Tok:Writing by Sibel UgurluAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.