02:05 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Kurdish Fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria

    Total of 34,000 Kurdish Militants Withdrawn From Contact Line With Turkish Troops in Syria

    © REUTERS / Goran Tomasevic
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A total of 68 Kurdish forces units numbering 34,000 militants, as well as over 3,000 pieces of weaponry and military equipment, have been withdrawn from the contact line with the Turkish Armed Forces in Syria by the set deadline, the commander of the Russian centre for Syrian reconciliation said Tuesday.

    "As of 18:00 Moscow time [15:00 GMT] on October 29, a total of 68 Kurdish self-defence units numbering 34,000 people and more than 3,000 units of weapons and military equipment have been withdrawn to the distance of 30 kilometres [about 18.6 miles] from the contact line with the Turkish armed forces", Maj. Gen. Yuri Borenkov said at a daily briefing.

    Borenkov added that the Syrian government forces have set up 84 border block posts on the Syrian-Turkish border, including 60 in the Qamishli area and 24 in the Kobani area.

    Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier in the day that the withdrawal of units Kurdish militia from the security zone in northeastern Syria in accordance with the Russia-Turkey memorandum has been completed ahead of schedule. 

    The statement comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adopted on 22 October a memorandum to resolve the situation on the Syrian-Turkish border in light of Ankara's offensive targeting the Kurdish forces. Under the document, Russian military police and Syrian border guards are facilitating the withdrawal of Kurdish militia from an 18-mile zone on the border within a 150-hour time frame that began on 23 October.

    Earlier in the month, US President Donald Trump abruptly announced the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria thereby abandoning the Kurdish allies whom they backed in fighting the Daesh* terror group. Turkey launched an operation against Kurdish forces, which they consider terrorists, soon after.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    withdrawal, Kurdish militants, Russia, Syria
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