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Turkey’s Syria op could see Islamic State terrorists scattering & rearming, not sure whether Ankara can tackle it fast – Putin

Turkey’s Syria op could see Islamic State terrorists scattering & rearming, not sure whether Ankara can tackle it fast – Putin
Islamic State militants may flee and take up arms again as Kurdish militias fighting them retreat amid the Turkish ground offensive, Vladimir Putin has said. He doubts that Turkey’s forces could prevent this from happening.

“There’s areas in northern Syria where Islamic State’s militants have amassed,” the Russian president warned at the Commonwealth of Independent States’ summit in Turkmenistan.

Such buffer zones were guarded by Syrian Kurds but now “the Turkish army is moving in and the Kurds are abandoning those camps,” creating the power vacuum.

They could simply run away. I’m not sure whether the Turkish army could get it under control fast.

As combatting terrorism was high on the agenda at the gathering of the post-Soviet leaders, Putin devoted time to security issues.

Citing an estimate by Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, he said thousands of terrorists have found shelter in northern Syria, where Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring is taking place.

Turkish troops crossed into northern Syria on Wednesday after US troops pulled out of the area on Trump’s orders. The offensive, which Turkey insists will create a safe zone for Syrian refugees, has been met by widespread condemnation in the West.

On Thursday, dozens of Republican representatives threatened to roll out a bill to impose fresh sanctions on Turkey, with the EU discussing a separate package of penalties next week.

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