Russia hails Syrian army entry in key northern city

Russia: Russia on Friday hailed as “positive” the Syrian army’s entry into the key northern city of Manbij for the first time in six years after Kurds opened the gates.

“Of course, this will help in stabilising the situation. The enlargement of the zone under the control of government forces… is without doubt a positive trend,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Kurdish forces who were left exposed by a US pledge to pull out its own troops, have asked the Syrian regime for help to face a threatened Turkish offensive.

Peskov said the situation would be discussed Saturday during a visit to Moscow by the Turkish foreign affairs and defence ministers, to “clarify” the situation and “synchronise actions” between the two countries.

Russia provides critical support to the Syrian government, while Turkey has backed rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.