Russian Federation moves to fill void left by United States in northern Syria

9News Europe and Middle East Correspondent Amelia Adams is at the Iraqi border crossing into Syria

But at least eight USA service members who served with Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq expressed disgust in interviews with The Washington Post about the rapid US changes and the lack of a clear plan to prevent a crisis.

Now in its seventh day, Turkey's offensive against Kurdish fighters has caused tens of thousands to flee their homes, has up-ended alliances and is re-drawing the map of northern Syria.

Another clear message: Turkey will press on with its map-altering offensive, despite threats to "destroy" its economy from President Donald Trump, who is widely seen to have greenlighted the Turkish operation in a call October 6 with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The American move effectively abandoned the Kurdish fighters who were allied with the USA and cleared the way for Turkey's invasion aimed at crushing them.

Despite a phone call last week between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which the White House acknowledged that Turkey would begin the offensive in northern Syria and that USA forces "will no longer be in the area", the vice president reiterated the administration's insistence that it did not approve the invasion. A US military spokesman, Col. Myles B. Caggins, confirmed American soldiers had pulled out of Manbij.

The Kurdish-led SDF was the main force on the ground in the USA -backed offensive that recaptured the Syrian lands of Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate, including the group's de facto capital Raqqa.

Now Russia is playing that role.

According to the BBC, the Pentagon said that F-15 fighter jets and Apache helicopter gunships had been deployed in the show of force towards the forces supported by Turkey, which is a fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, who came close to U.S. troops near the Syrian town of Ain Issa.

Syrian state media also said the army troops have entered the center of Manbij in northern Syria and have raised the national flag in the city.

"I remember hearing, 'How are we going to phrase terms to convince Trump not to go off a cliff?' " the officer said.

Operation Euphrates Shield and its successors, Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and Operation Peace Spring - launched on October 9 - all aim to eliminate terrorist elements near Turkey's borders, including Daesh and the YPG/PKK.

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As well as clearing the way for the Turkish incursion, the US withdrawal gives a free hand to Washington's adversaries in the world's deadliest ongoing war, namely Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies. The Kurds, feeling betrayed by the USA, in recent days partnered with Syrian government troops to protect themselves. "It's very different than if we had said, 'We are getting out of Syria in six months.' Reasonable-man definition says that we facilitated that attack".

A Turkish embassy official in Washington said the indictment did not contribute positively to the current state of U.S. -Turkey ties. Two Turkish soldiers and seven others wounded in a mortar attack from Manbij, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Trump has demanded an immediate end to Turkey's assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria - an assault Turkey began after Trump announced he was moving US troops out of the way.

Turkish-backed forces came "very close" to USA troops in Syria just west of a coalition base in the northern Syrian town of Ain Issa Tuesday - so close that American jets and attack helicopters were called in to disrupt the approaching forces, a U.S official tells Fox News.

'I want to make something clear, the United States has taken the fight to Syria and Afghanistan because that is where our enemies are, that's why we're there. The Syrian Observatory reported that Syrian Kurdish fighters had retaken the town, but it appeared it was still being contested.

The move puts Russian troops in a buffer zone between regime forces and Turkish-backed rebels.

In addition to the measures Mr. Trump signed Monday, sanctions legislation with bipartisan support is being prepared in Congress.

China on Tuesday called on Turkey to stop its military action, saying it could lead to escape of IS militants exasperating global counter-terrorism efforts.

The official said that Vice President Mike Pence would head within 24 hours to Ankara to seek a ceasefire.

The president said he had issued an executive order to allow sanctions on sitting and former Turkish officials - although he has apparently not yet imposed them - and was immediately ending talks on a US-Turkey trade deal.

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