Russia denies forming military base in YPG controlled Afrin

A Russian Ceasefire Monitoring Centre in Hmeimim, Syria.

Russia’s Defence Ministry has denied claims it is forming a military base in northwestern Syria’s Afrin Canton.

According to a report by Sputnik, the Russian Defence Ministry in a statement on Monday 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.”

People’s Protection Units (YPG) Spokesperson Redur Xelil had earlier said Russia and the Kurdish force had made a deal in which Russia would set up a military base in Afrin Canton and support the force in its “fight on terror”.