Russian state TV footage provided by AP shows Russian helicopters with armed troops on board landing on the runway of the Syrian Airbase at Tabqa, which was reopened, Tuesday, October 22
READ MORE: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Tuesday, hours before a five-day cease-fire between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria was set to expire. The talks between Erdogan and Putin are likely to be crucial in determining arrangements along the Syrian-Turkish border, where Ankara demands a long “safe zone” cleared of Kurdish fighters.
As all the other parties jockey for control along the border, the United States was stumbling from one problem to another getting its troops out of Syria in an abrupt withdrawal ordered by President Donald Trump. The U.S. pullout opened the door to Turkey to launch its offensive against Kurdish fighters on Oct. 9; after a storm of criticism, Washington moved to broker the cease-fire that came into effect Thursday night.
Iraq's military said Tuesday that American forces leaving Syria did not have permission to stay in Iraq, seemingly contradicting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper who said a day earlier the forces would remain to help fight the Islamic State group.