(Bloomberg) — The Turkish troops who poured into Syria to battle Kurdish fighters abandoned by the U.S. may have inadvertently handed Russian President Vladimir Putin a strategic victory in the Middle East. Less than a week after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the intervention, Russia underlined its dominance in the region by warning of the limits of its patience with the operation. The Kremlin’s message came after President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey that left many in Congress unimpressed following his withdrawal of the last 1,000 U.S. troops from territory held by the Kurds for seven years during the Syrian war. “We have always called on Turkey to exercise restraint and considered any military operation in Syria unacceptable,” Putin’s special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, said Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, where the Russian president was meeting with United Arab Emirates leaders. “Security along the Turkish-Syrian border must be ensured by deploying government troops.” Putin has seized on the crisis to maneuver Syrian government forces into Kurdish-held territory, a major step in his efforts to restore President Bashar al-Assad’s control over all of the country after Russia’s military intervention tipped the war in his favor. The Kurdish-led authority in… Read full this story
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