23:02 GMT +318 December 2018
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    A general view shows the Kurdish-controlled city of Afrin, northern Syria. (File)

    Russian Defense Ministry Has No Plans to Create New Bases in Syria

    © REUTERS / Mahmoud Hebbo
    Middle East
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    The Russian Defense Ministry commented on reports claiming Russia is creating a new base in Syria.

    Earlier in the day, the Reuters news agency reported that Russian forces were setting up a military base in Afrin in agreement with the YPG.

    "There are no plans to create new Russian military bases on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic," the ministry's press service said.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said that a branch of the Russian reconciliation center was deployed near Afrin in the contact line between the Kurds and the Free Syrian Army, according to an agreement between Russia and Turkey on the Syrian ceasefire monitoring.

    "To prevent violations of the cessation of hostilities, one of the branches of the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides [in Syria] was deployed in the province of Aleppo near the Afrin populated area in the contact line between Kurdish militia units and Turkey-controlled units of the Free Syrian Army."

    Kurdish YPG units spokesman Redur Xelil told Sputnik earlier in the day that the Kurds and Russia Russia reached an agreement on fighting terrorism which envisages Russian presence near the city of Afrin in northern Syria.

    The nationwide Syrian ceasefire that came into force on December 30 is backed by Russia and Turkey; it has been holding up in general, despite continued reports of violations. The UN Security Council passed a resolution in December supporting the effort.


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