09:38 GMT +314 November 2019
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    In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Suruc, southeastern Turkey, a U.S forces outpost is seen on a hilltop outside Ayn Al Arab or Kobani, Syria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

    Ex-Turkish Minister Says Sochi Deal Aims to Avoid Collision With Syrian Military on Border

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Moscow-Ankara memorandum on northeast Syria lays the basis for avoiding any collision between the Turkish and Syrian militaries amid Ankara's push to drive the Kurds out of the border area, former Turkish foreign minister Yasar Yakis said.

    "This memorandum prepares the ground for avoiding military confrontation between Turkey and Syria, but peace cannot be guaranteed with this memorandum alone. It needs the cooperation of all actors in the Syrian theater," Yakis said.

    According to the former minister, a military escalation is in the interest of neither Ankara nor Damascus.

    Following the talks in Sochi on Tuesday, presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum to resolve the situation in northeast Syria in the wake of the Turkish cross-border offensive. Under the document, Russian military police and Syrian border guards have committed themselves to facilitating the withdrawal of Kurdish militia from an 18-mile border zone. Russia and Turkey have also agreed to joint patrols in the area.

    Turkey launched its offensive against Kurdish militia, viewed by Ankara as terrorists, on 9 October after its talks with the United States on a "safe zone" on the border collapsed and American troops started leaving the area. The operation was condemned by a number of nations, with Damascus deploying its troops to the northeast part of the country.


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