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Wednesday 19.02.2020 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna

Turkish offensive: Erdogan, Putin agree on withdrawal of Syria Kurdish forces

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

Turkish and Russian Presidents have reached a deal on giving Kurdish YPG forces more time to move further inside Syria, away from the Syrian-Turkish border so that Ankara would achieve its goal of a ‘safe zone’ where Syrian refugees could return.

The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that on Wednesday, October 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a joint news conference with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the two leaders had agreed to a further withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters 30 kilometers away from the border region within 150 hours.

A U.S.-brokered five-day ceasefire is currently in effect to allow the Kurds to pull back from a border area after Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria. Earlier on Tuesday, the YPG had completed its obligations for this deal. They have not yet confirmed if they will adhere to the Russian-Turkish agreement to pull back further.

Read also: U.S. imposes sanctions on Turkey over incursion in Syria

Erdogan said that this would allow for Turkish troops to destroy Kurdish fortifications and camps.

In a statement on Wednesday, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said it had been informed by the U.S. that the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the border areas had been «completed.» They added that there was no need to start a new offensive outside the current area.

«At this stage, there is no further need to carry out a new operation,» ministry stated.

Keywords: Putin Russia Syria Turkey


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