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    Moscow Informed Ankara About Complete Withdrawal of Kurdish Forces From Safe Zone - Erdogan

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow informed Ankara that the pullout of the Kurdish forces from the security zone in northeastern Syria in accordance with the Russia-Turkey memorandum had been completed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, as broadcast by TRT.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the pullout of the Kurdish armed units from the safe zone had been finished ahead of schedule.

    On 9 October, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to clear the border area of Daesh* and the Kurdish militants, labeled as terrorists by Ankara. The United States and Turkey came to an agreement on October 17 for a 120-hour ceasefire in the area to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish fighters.

    As the five-day ceasefire came to an end, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a memorandum on 22 October in Sochi. According to the agreement, comprising 10 clauses, Russian military police and Syrian border guards are facilitating the withdrawal of Kurdish militants, whom Ankara views as terrorists, from the 18-mile safe zone on the Syria-Turkish border within 150 hours, and Ankara and Moscow have started joint patrols.

    A Turkish n armored vehicles patrol as they conduct a joint ground patrol with American forces in the so-called safe zone on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria, Friday, Oct.4, 2019
    © AP Photo / Baderkhan Ahmad
    A Turkish n armored vehicles patrol as they conduct a joint ground patrol with American forces in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria, Friday, Oct.4, 2019

    The withdrawal deadline under the Russia-Turkey memorandum expired at 6:00 pm Moscow time (15:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

    It was reported earlier that Kurdish forces abandoned their military base with a training camp and Asayish police post in northern Syria's Raqqa province near the town of Ayn Issa.

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

    Tags:
    operation, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), withdrawal, safe zone, Syria, Kurds, Turkey, Russia
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