Smoke rises from the Syria's Afrin region
© Osman Orsal / Reuters
Smoke rises from the Syria's Afrin region, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Hassa, on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018
The US is fuelling the crisis in northern Syria and the ongoing Turkish military operation against the Kurds through reckless weapon supplies to pro-American rebel groups, Russia's Defense Ministry has said.

"The Pentagon's uncontrolled deliveries of modern weaponry to the pro-US militants in the north of Syria, including, according to our information, contributed to the rapid escalation of tensions and prompted the Turkish special operation,"the ministry said Saturday.

The "provocative actions" of Washington - the announcement of the creation of "border forces" and other activities aimed at the "disintegration of Syrian sovereignty, and supporting armed militant groups" have triggered an "extremely negative"reaction from Ankara, the ministry noted.

The ongoing Turkish military operation has prompted Russian forces, stationed in the region, to regroup and relocate military police units and Reconciliation Center operatives to the village of Tell-Adjar to the east of the city of Afrin. Russia continues to monitor the situation and is ready to provide help to civilians fleeing the combat zones, the ministry said in a separate statement.