Turkey wants Syrian forces moved back


Erdogan on Saturday said he would also discuss Syrian army deployment in northern Syria with Putin, saying the two needed to find a solution to the matter.

After a morning of fighting in the wake of Thursday's cease fire announcement, Kurdish fighters on Friday started retreating south of the 20-mile buffer zone in northern Syria that Turkey had demanded, Turkish authorities said.

Erdogan, who has backed rebels fighting to oust Assad, has said Turkey has no problem with Syrian government forces deploying near the border. That has complicated Turkey's plan to create a "safe zone" south of its border with Syria where it would resettle Syrian refugees now living in Turkey.

Erdogan agreed to the truce during talks in Ankara on Thursday with US Vice President Mike Pence amid a humanitarian crisis that has put hundreds of thousands of civilians to flight and raised fears that thousands of Islamic State captives guarded by Kurdish forces could escape.

Erdogan used tough language in a televised speech on October 19 to say what Kurdish forces in northern Syria could expect if they did not withdraw as agreed with the United States.

34 percent said they want them to return if the conflict continues.

Turkey is hosting some 3.6 million Syrian refugees on its land, a huge burden for the country beset by an ailing economy. "By so doing, Turkey has lost the chance of playing an active role in Syria's future". It cited a listing of Kurdish assaults round and throughout the border.

The two sides claim each other has broken the agreement The Turkish Defense Ministry accuses the Kurds of breaking the ceasefire: "The ministry said there had been 14 "provocative attacks" from Kurdish fighters in the past 36 hours, 12 in the town of Ras al-Ain, which has been besieged by Turkey-allied Syrian fighters for several days.It said the Kurdish fighters used mortars, rockets, anti-aircraft and anti-tank heavy machine guns in the attacks, adding that Ankara was in "instantaneous coordination" with Washington to ensure the continuity of calm".

"The Turkish side continued its attack in violation of the ceasefire", Abdi said.

Khalil said Kurdish-led fighters would pull back from a 120-kilometer (75-mile) stretch along the border from Ras al-Ayn to Tal Abyad, moving past the worldwide highway.

"We believe we can reach an agreement with them to work together in the future, just like we have before".

Ahmed, the Kurdish official, said the cease-fire deal doesn't impact the agreement with Russian Federation and Damascus.

Cavusoglu reiterated that warning on Saturday, saying the offensive would continue if USA promises were not kept.

The border town of Ras al-Ayn was emerging as an immediate test of whether the halt in violence can take hold. "We have, the USA has control of that", he said. Video showed Turkish soldiers and Turkey-backed Syrian forces as people lined up for aid packs.

A partial evacuation took place Saturday.

The SDF called Saturday on Vice President Mike Pence, who negotiated the deal with Mr. Erdogan, to enforce it and allow for a safe corridor to evacuate the injured.

Reports had suggested 700 fled after a Turkish shell landed near Ain Issa, a camp holding family members of ISIS fighters.

If Kurdish fighters then pull back from the 120-kilometer border area, it is uncertain what the arrangement would be along the rest of the northeastern border, most of which remains exclusively in the hands of Kurdish-led fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that the Turkish proxy forces crossed into Syria east of Ras al-Ayn to a village where clashes have been ongoing since Friday.

The Kurdish forces are reportedly also present in the towns handed over, something vehemently opposed by Ankara.



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