The fate on the key strategic town of Manbij will not be settled on the plains of northern Syria, but 2,000 miles away, in Moscow.
It is Russia that will ultimately decide whether President Erdogan can enact his plans launch a new offensive on Syria’s Kurds. Should the Kremlin decide to throw its military power behind Assad’s advances into those areas, Turkey will find itself outgunned.
The scramble for the town will be at the top of the agenda when a high-level Turkish delegation arrives in Russia today for talks on this latest twist in Syria’s war.
Mr Erdogan’s envoys are hoping that they can persuade the Kremlin that it is in Russia’s best interests to allow Turkish forces to take control of Manbij and…