Russian troops patrolling between Turkish and Syrian forces following US withdrawal

Russia announced Tuesday that it has units patrolling between Turkish and Syrian forces in northern Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the area.

Russian military police in the northwestern town of Manbij were “along the line of contact between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey,” the Defense Ministry in Moscow told The Washington Post in a statement.

The Russian military is also “interacting” with Turkey’s government, the Post reports.

A U.S. official told the newspaper late Monday that U.S. troops had withdrawn from the area.

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Kurdish fighters said Sunday that Syrian government troops would help them fend off Turkey's invasion at the northern border. The Kurds' decision to ally with Syrian President Bashar Assad came after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE last week ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the northeastern part of the country, sparking criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a military offensive against Syrian Kurds shortly after the announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

The U.S. had more than 1,000 troops deployed in the region to work with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS. Turkey, however, views they YPG as terrorists. 

Ankara advanced farther into Syria on Tuesday after Trump announced sanctions over Turkey's military action. 

Trump said late Monday that he was imposing sanctions on Turkish government officials and “any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” 

The sanctions include an increase on steel tariffs from 25 percent to 50 percent and a halt in trade negotiations with Ankara.