Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on April 9 that Russia expects Turkey to bring the strategic northern Syrian town of Afrin, previously held by YPG, under the control of the Syrian government.

He insisted that the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had “never said that Turkey wants to occupy Afrin” and that Russia now expects Turkey to bring the area under Syrian government control.

Turkey launched military operation in Afrin in March to remove YPG militants which forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).