Syrian troops have been stationed along the western border of the region of Manbij in Aleppo province, a Sputnik correspondent has reported.
Syrian flags have been raised over buildings in the area close to the district's northern border, with the army boosting its presence there.
According to Sputnik’s reporter, citing a source on the ground, they are there to prevent an advance of Turkish-aligned Euphrates Shield forces on the city of Manbij
It has been controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the Kurdish People's Protection Units' YPG, since Daesh* was cornered there in 2016.
Amid the withdrawal of US troops from positions near their Kurdish allies in Syria, and Turkish plans to launch an operation there against the Kurdish militias, whom Ankara regards as terrorists, the Syrian army has received an appeal from the YPG to enter the territory and assume control over the city.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara was ready to launch a new offensive against the Kurdish militia in the northern Syrian region earlier in December; however, he later said that the operation had been postponed following a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, the Anadolu news agency reported on 29 December that Turkish howitzers, tanks and other heavy military vehicles had arrived in the country's south-eastern province of Sanliurfa, bordering northern Syria.
*Daesh (IS/ISIS/ISIl/Islamic State) and Taliban — terrorist groups banned in Russia