BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – The 18 soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that were captured by the Turkish-backed militants this week in northeastern Syria will be handed over to the Russian military police, a source in Damascus told Al-Masdar News this afternoon.

According to the source, the Turkish and Russian armed forces negotiated a deal to release these soldiers to the military police as they were in the negotiated safe zone when they were captured by the so-called “Syrian National Army” (SNA).

Despite this gesture of goodwill between Turkey and Russia, the Syrian Arab Army and SNA continued to clash in the western countryside of Tal Tamr.

The source could not confirm the status of the captured fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF); it is likely that Turkey will be more reluctant to return them because Ankara views their organization as a terrorist group that is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

 

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