Russians Share Videos From Hastily Abandoned U.S. Base in Syria: 'Manbij Is Ours!'

Russian journalists have been sharing videos of a hastily abandoned American military base in northeastern Syria, after Russian troops accompanying Syrian government soldiers swept into the power vacuum on Tuesday.

Multiple videos from a former U.S. facility near the city of Manbij were shared by Russian journalists on Twitter. One of the journalists was identified as Oleg Blokhin, a war correspondent attached to the Russian mercenary organization known as the Wagner Group.

RT was also at the location on Wednesday, filming in front of what appeared to be abandoned barracks and recreation areas.

One of the most detailed videos was uploaded by Russian military news website ANNA News, filmed by one of its special correspondents. The description accompanying the video declared, "Manbij is ours!"

Times of London reporter Tom Parfitt noted that Blokhin had also worked for ANNA News in the past, and that the organization's reporters are often embedded with Russian forces supporting Syrian troops.

U.S. forces abruptly left their positions this week after President Donald Trump ordered them away from the Turkish border region.

Their sudden departure gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the green light to launch his long expected operation against Kurdish militia groups, which Ankara considers terrorist organizations.

The withdrawal prompted accusations that the U.S. was abandoning its Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces allies to be slaughtered, after years of working closely together to defeat ISIS.

Faced with the Turkish onslaught, Kurdish authorities agreed Sunday to hand over control of key cities to Russian- and Iranian-backed Syrian government forces in exchange for protection.

The small number of Americans appear to have been caught by surprise by the quick retreat. The ANNA News video showed food and drink left out on tables and fridges full of supplies. Among the more recognizable brands were cans of Coca-Cola plus boxes of Kellogg's cereal and Krispy Kreme donuts.

The ANNA News video also showed abandoned sleeping quarters, internet access points and exercise areas. The correspondent noted that some personal belongings had been left behind by the withdrawing troops, illustrating the speed at which they had to leave.

One of Blokhin's videos showed him clambering on the fortified walls of the empty U.S. base. A second clip recorded him playing with a mechanical checkpoint at the entrance to the camp, raising and lowering the barrier using the electronic controls.

#Syria #EasternEuphrates
Another footage of this #Russia|n PMC inside the #US base in #Manbij abandoned this morning.

— MrRevinsky (@Kyruer) October 15, 2019

The U.S. withdrawal has been a victory for all of America's adversaries in Syria, and a disaster for its allies. President Bashar al-Assad has been handed control of much of northeastern Syria without a shot being fired, while his Russian and Iranian allies have been able to significantly expand their influence at Washington's expense.

Turkey has been given a free hand in the Syrian border region, allowed to begin what critics fear could come to represent mass demographic re-engineering and even a Kurdish genocide.

And the Syrian Democratic Forces—America's most effective and bloodied local ally in the fight against ISIS—has been forced to submit to an authoritarian regime it has been fighting against for years, or risk being crushed by NATO's second largest military.

US, military, base, Syria, Manbij, Russia
This file photo shows a U.S. military base in the al-Asaliyah village, between the city of Aleppo and the city of Manbij, Syria, on April 2, 2018. DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images/Getty