Turkey, Russia broker deal on further withdrawal of Kurdish YPG

epa07940992 Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) during their joint news conference following Russian-Turkish talks in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia, 22 October 2019. The Turkish President is on a working visit to Russia. EPA-EFE/SERGEI CHIRIKOV / POOL

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a joint news conference with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that the two leaders had agreed to a further withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters 30 kilometres away from the border region within 150 hours.

A US-brokered five-day ceasefire is currently in effect to allow the Kurds to pull back from a border area after Turkey’s incursion into north-eastern 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.

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

In a statement early on Wednesday, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said it had been informed by the US 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 said.

Via DW

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