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Syrian forces confront Turkish troops at Kobani and Manbij

Syrian government forces arrived at the Kurdish-held towns of Kobani, Manbij and Raqqa on Monday as Turkish troops were poised to move in against the first two. According to some reports the Syrian army are already in those towns, but, say DEBKAfile’s military sources, it can’t hold out against a Turkish advance without Russian support.

This major switch on the front Turkey opened against the Kurds of northeastern Syria six days ago, occurred at lightning speed the day after Kurdish leaders struck a deal with Syria regime and Russian commanders and agreed to turn their territory over to the Assad regime. Since Syrian government troops are not up to a full-scale battle with the Turkish army without Russian army and air force support, Turkey and Russian stand at the threshold of a major military clash.