Video has surfaced of Russian soldiers entering the north-eastern Kurdish-held Afrin, according to Kurdish TV channel Rudaw, a day after conflicting statements were made on an agreement between the YPG and Russian army.
YPG spokesman Redur Xelil told Reuters that a deal was agreed on Sunday which foresaw the deployment of Russian troops in the canton of Afrin and for training programs to be undertaken for YPG fighters.
According to a report by Sputnik, in a statement on Monday the Russian Defence Ministry denied it was opening a base and instead said it is forming a branch of the ‘Syria Ceasefire Monitoring Centre’.
Referring to the agreement made between Turkey and Russia on 30 December 2016, for which Russia has set up 24-hour monitoring centres, the Defence Ministry statement said, “to prevent violations of the ceasefire, we are opening a branch of Russia’s Syria Ceasefire Monitoring Centre near Afrin, in the area where Kurdish forces and Free Syrian Army groups are present.”
The videos show soldiers and military vehicles adorned with Russian flags in preparation but Kom News could not verify whether the footage is actually from Afrin.