Turkey and Russia have agreed what they referred to as a “historic” deal aimed at maintaining Kurdish forces away from Syria’s border with Turkey.
Turkey this month launched an offensive to drive out the Kurdish forces from their southern frontier and generate a buffer zone.
Russia is an ally of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and has raised concern about foreign interference in Syria.
Turkey and Russia will now conduct joint patrols on the border.
The deal comes just after the US announced a sudden and unexpected withdrawal and analysts see it as cementing Turkish and Russian influence in the area.
For Turkey it implies retaining manage more than locations gained at the expense of the Kurds though for Russia its forces alongside Syria’s will oversee the rest of the border.
Hours just after the deal was announced Turkey mentioned there was no will need to re-launch its offensive, which was on hold due to a ceasefire, as Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from the Turkish “protected zone”.
What was agreed?
Turkey has seized a 120km-lengthy strip of land among the towns of Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad, element of its try to generate a “protected zone” to resettle up to two million refugees at present in Turkey.
Russia has agreed to enable Turkey’s operation, removing the danger of conflict among the two sides.
The statement from Russia and Turkey says Kurdish forces “will be removed” from the towns of Manbij and Tal Rifat – each of which lie outdoors the operation location.
Kurdish militias have but to indicate whether or not they will agree to these demands.
Below the program, Russia will conduct joint patrols with Turkey in components of northern Syria to make sure that Kurdish forces do not return to locations close to Syria’s border with Turkey. They will start on Wednesday.
Joint Russian and Syrian patrols in locations exactly where Turkish forces do not operate will also start on Wednesday.
The announcement came just after talks among Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Mr Assad thanked President Putin and “expressed his complete help for the final results of the perform as properly as the readiness of the Syrian border guards, with each other with the Russian military police, to attain the Syrian-Turkish border,” the Kremlin mentioned.
How did we get right here?
A US-led coalition relied on Kurdish led forces to battle Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Syria more than the previous 4 years, but they are dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia which Turkey sees as a terrorist organisation.
Just more than two weeks ago President Donald Trump announced that he would be withdrawing US troops from Syria. Quickly just after, Turkey launched an offensive on the Kurds.
Russia stationed troops close to the border more than issues that Syria’s territory was getting encroached upon by a foreign energy.
Turkey agreed to pause the assault final week at the request of the US to “facilitate the withdrawal of YPG forces from the Turkish-controlled protected zone”.
Because then the ceasefire has largely held, in spite of what US officials have described as “some minor skirmishes”.
The Kurds have been provided one more 150 hours to withdraw to a depth of 32km (20 miles) from the border.
US Vice President Mike Pence, welcomed the developments, saying: “We may well properly give the international neighborhood an chance to establish a protected zone among Turkey and the Kurdish population in Syria that will make sure peace and safety.”
What has the price been?
The UN says additional than 176,000 individuals, which includes just about 80,000 young children, have been displaced in the previous two weeks in north-east Syria, which is dwelling to some 3 million individuals.
Some 120 civilians have been killed in the battle, along with 259 Kurdish fighters, 196 Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and seven Turkish soldiers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-primarily based monitoring group.
Twenty civilians have also been killed in attacks by the YPG on Turkish territory, Turkish officials say.