After the Russian troops were withdrawn from the area of Tal Rafat and Ain Issa, Turkey accused Russia that the Russian troops had surrendered to the superior forces of Turkey.
According to Abdullah Agar, a security specialist who spoke live on Turkish state television channel TGRT, the Russian military were forced to retreat under Turkey's pressure, while Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah still remain in northern Syria. This may slightly alter Ankara's plans for the start of the offensive.
“In connection with the forthcoming Turkish attack on Tal Rafat in the north of Aleppo, Iran, unlike Russia, did not withdraw its troops from Tal Rafat. The Russian military retreated from Tal Rafat, but the Iranian-linked Hezbollah forces stayed there. In fact, if the Iranian forces do not retreat from Tal Rafat, Turkey and Iran will clash in Tal Rafat,” journalist Khayal Mazin said, Ava.pro publication reports.
It is worthy of note that Russia has been accused before of its alleged willingness to surrender the northern part of Syria to Turkey. In particular, after Russian military convoys headed to Qamishli through the central part of Syria, it was announced that Russia was looking for an opportunity to supply its military should the Turkish troops seize the northern regions of Syria and the M4 highway.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that the Russian military indeed pulled out from Ain Issa and Tal Rafat, such statement from Turkey come as a provocation.
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