Russian FM: US Bid to Hold Oil Fields in Northern Syria Illegitimate

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MOSCOW – The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed on Tuesday that the US decision to establish military bases to “secure” the Syrian oil fields is illegitimate, as doing so violates international law.

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“Any actions that aim to bolster the illegal military presence of the United States [in Syria] go against the international law and are unacceptable from our point of view,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told reporters, according to Sputnik.

American troops pulled back from several areas as Turkey launched its Operation Peace Spring on 9 October, commencing an offensive against Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The United States and the European Union slammed the decision, introducing sanctions against Ankara, but the Turkish government continued the operation in order to create a so-called safe zone near its territory in order to keep out the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which it considers to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey views as a terrorist organization which is banned in the country.

Kurdish forces had to withdraw from the Syria-Turkey border, later arranging a deal with Damascus, which subsequently bolstered its forces in the northern part of the country.

The crisis eased after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to establish joint patrols on the border, while Moscow also vowed to ensure that the Kurdish-led forces would retreat from the Turkish border.

At the same time, the United States and Turkey negotiated a ceasefire between the Turkish Army and the Kurdish militia in the region, which later became permanent.

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