Video shows Russian mercenaries inside an abandoned US camp in Syria

Russia base military wagner us syria
  • A video shows the inside of a US military camp in Syria shortly after it was abandoned and overtaken by Russian mercenaries.
  • US forces left the base in Manbij early Tuesday following President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops from a coalition with the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF).
  • The video, taken by Russian war correspondent Oleg Blokhin, shows the camp deserted but fully equipped with shelters, radio masts, and camouflage netting.
  • Turkish forces marched into Syria last Wednesday, displacing thousands of Kurdish people and leaving the SDF to ally with Russian mercenaries and the Syrian government. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

A video shows the inside of a US military camp overtaken by Russian mercenaries working with Syrian forces, shortly after American troops abandoned it.

US forces left the Manbij camp in northern Syria early Tuesday following an October 6 directive from President Donald Trump to leave a coalition with the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) fighting ISIS. A spokesman for the US operation confirmed the departure on Tuesday.Advertisement

The US' decision to pull out gave Turkish forces the green light to invade Syria and drive out the SDF, which contains Kurdish fighters. Turkey considers the Kurds terrorists and has long vowed to destroy them. Over the weekend the SDF joined a pact with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's government to fight the Turkish offensive.

Here's a video of the abandoned camp:

The man in the video was identified by Times of London reporter Tom Parfitt as Russian war correspondent Oleg Blokhin, known to be following the Wagner Group in northeastern Syria.

US troops formerly based at the camp willingly left it to Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company who support the Syrian military operation, a SDF official near Manbij told Business Insider's Mitch Prothero.

The broader Manbij area is currently under the control of Assad's troops, who await an assault from Turkish troops from the north. Read more: The 1,000 elite US troops in Syria are making a chaotic and demoralizing retreat after Trump canceled their missionAdvertisement

The video was first posted to Twitter by a defense blogger known as MrRevinsky. The SDF official confirmed to Business Insider its accuracy.

MrRevinsky posted a second video, this time showing Wagner mercenaries playing with a mechanical US checkpoint barrier at the camp.

Trump's withdrawal from Syrian, and Turkey's subsequent incursion, has unleashed chaos in the region. Dozens of "high value" ISIS prisoners have escaped from detention, and experts say this could help the terrorists regroup.Advertisement