Russian backed forces in Syria make huge advances after Donald Trump's reversal of U.S. policy

As Turkey ignores new sanctions from the United States and continues its onslaught in northern Syria, Russian backed Syrian forces have marched into the hotly contested city of Manbij, Reuters reports.

A week after reversing policy and withdrawing troops, Trump announced a package of sanctions against Turkey. 

The sanctions appear to many to be deliberately feeble, with financial markets largely ignoring them. The Turkish lira has risen, as Turkish banks were untouched by the sanctions. 

The decision to withdraw all U.S. forces, following the Turkish invasion, has pushed Kurdish forces to ally forged a new alliance with President Bashar al-Assad's Russian backed government. 

Syrian state television promptly broadcast footage of what it claimed to be al-Assad's troops entering the city of Manbij, west of the Euphrates river, on Tuesday. A resident inside the city told Reuters the Syrian troops were on its outskirts. 

A Reuters cameraman on the Turkish frontier reported heavy bombardment on Tuesday morning of the Syrian border town of Ras al Ain, where a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces reported a fierce battle was taking place. 

The United Nations says 160,000 people have fled their homes as Turkish forces advance. The Kurdish administration puts the number of displaced at 270,000. 

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