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Turkey has claimed it will “shortly” begin an offensive into northern Syria as President Trump insisted the United States has not abandoned its Kurdish allies by pulling forces out of the area.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today warned of the risks of Washington sending mixed signals.

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The Kurds are “extremely alarmed” by US statements, he said, and fear that confusion could “ignite the whole region”. “This must be avoided at all costs,” Lavrov said.

Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s communications director, wrote in the Washington Post that Turkish military units would “cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly”.

-Noah Harte