Russia warns against actions that 'inhibit peace process' in Syria

Moscow (AFP) –


Russia's security council said on Tuesday it was important to avoid hindering the peace process in Syria, following discussions with President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The influential council discussed the creation of a constitutional committee in the country and "remarked that at this stage everyone should avoid any actions that can inhibit the peace process in Syria," he said.

Peskov said earlier Tuesday that Russia "is following very closely how the situation is developing" and was not informed about the withdrawal of the United States from the region -- something that has sparked fears of a Turkish attack on Kurdish forces.

"We still don't know which troops are being withdrawn, in what amount, and whether they are being withdrawn at all," Peskov said.

"There have been various announcements about withdrawals from different parts of the world which later were not confirmed."

The US White House announced Sunday that American troops will be withdrawn from a crucial area of the Turkey-Syria border, seemingly giving a green light for Turkey to conduct long-planned operations inside Syria against its Kurdish foes.

Turkey said Tuesday that it was ready for an offensive into northern Syria as US President Donald Trump was giving mixed signals after the decision to pull back US "special operators" who acted as a buffer on Syria's northern frontier.

Russia is a principal ally of the Syrian government in the conflict and has been involved in the fighting since 2015.