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Turkey and Russia give YPG 150 hours to leave the ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria

The Presidents of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left), and Russia, Vladimir Putin (right) – – / Kremlin / dpa

They will deploy joint patrols and stress that the YPG will withdraw from Manbij and Tel Rifaat

The presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, respectively, have agreed on Tuesday to give a new period of 150 hours to Kurdish forces to withdraw from the 'safe zone' demanded by Ankara in northern Syria.

Turkey and Russia give YPG 150 hours to leave the ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria
Turkey and Russia give YPG 150 hours to leave the ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria

At a joint press conference, Erdogan has confirmed that the Military Police of both countries will be deployed in the 'safe zone' to ensure that “terrorists from the Popular Protection Units (YPG) leave the area.”

He also stressed that the “main objective” of the 'Operation Peace Spring' is “to end the terrorist organizations YPG and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and create the conditions for Syrian refugees to return home” .

“We want to maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria,” said the Turkish president, who stressed that the country's authorities “do not want to take over the territory of others.” “We are carefully planning all our steps,” he has riveted.

For his part, Putin stressed that the conversation with Erdogan has allowed reaching “very important” agreements that “will help resolve the complicated situation on the border between Syria and Turkey,” according to the Russian news agency Tass.

The Russian president has also emphasized that the foreign forces deployed illegally in the territory of the Arab country at this time must abandon it and has stressed that Turkey “shares this vision”.

It has also opted to launch a “broad dialogue” between the Syrian Government and the Kurdish authorities to address the claims of the latter, as reported by the Russian news agency Sputnik.

Putin has argued that “only in the framework of that inclusive dialogue is it possible to fully take into account and fulfill all the rights and interests of the Kurds,” whom he has described as “an inalienable part” of the Syrian people.

THE CONTENT OF THE AGREEMENT

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has subsequently read the content of the memorandum of understanding reached during the day, which contemplates joint patrols in the 'safe zone' to ensure that YPGs do not return to this area.

“Starting at noon on October 23, 2019, the Russian Military Police and the Syrian border guard will enter the Syrian side of the border, outside the area of ​​the 'Operation Peace Spring', to facilitate the removal of the elements of the YPG and their weapons in an area of ​​30 kilometers from the border, which must be completed in 150 hours, “he says.

In this regard, note that “from that moment, joint patrols will begin between Russia and Turkey to the west and east of the area of ​​the 'Operation Peace Spring' with a depth of ten kilometers, with the exception of Qamishli.”

“All the elements of the YPG and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tel Rifaat,” he said, adding that “the 'status quo' established in the area of ​​the 'Peace Spring Operation', between Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain, with a depth of 32 kilometers, will be preserved. ”

“Both countries remain committed to the territorial integrity of Syria and the security of Turkey,” Lavrov said in his reading of the agreement, which also states that both countries “remain committed to the fight against terrorism in all its forms.”

Finally, Moscow and Ankara have agreed to create an agency to verify the application of this memorandum and work “to achieve a political solution” to the conflict in Syria and support the work of the constitutional committee, which will write the country's new Magna Carta.

Thus, Lavrov has indicated that the Turkish military operation in Syria will come to an end and has argued that what happens in the future will depend on the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the area.

“The operation is coming to an end and now everything depends on whether the agreements are respected, especially as regards the withdrawal of forces and equipment and the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations,” he said.

THE TURKO OFFENSIVE

Turkey launched on October 9 the 'Operation Peace Spring', with which it intends to expel from the northeast of Syria the militiamen of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), led by the YPG.

On October 17, Turkey agreed with the United States a ceasefire in the area that implies the temporary suspension of its offensive for the SDS militiamen to withdraw their weapons and withdraw leaving the area of ​​northeastern Syria delimited by the Turkish authorities .

However, Ankara maintained its bombings during Friday, which led the SDS to denounce a breach of the agreement and demand the deployment of international observers.

The SDS announced on Sunday that they had completed the evacuation of Ras al Ain militiamen, under the aforementioned agreement, which gave five days for their withdrawal from the security zone, which will cover 440 kilometers of border, to the Iraqi border, and it will enter 32 kilometers on Syrian soil.

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