Russia: Syrian government must take over eastern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Russia's Foreign Ministry says Moscow expects the Syrian government to take over the areas where the U.S. troops are currently deployed following their withdrawal.

The ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said at Wednesday's briefing that the territories in eastern Syria should be handed over to the Syrian government in line with international law. She noted that Moscow is unaware of any details of the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, but added that the move would help peaceful settlement in Syria if implemented.

U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced the pullout from Syria last week, surprising allies and sparking the resignation of two of his top aides. The U.S. backed Kurdish-led forces in the oil-rich eastern Syria for four years, and its withdrawal will leave the area up for grabs.