SYRIA: Russia and Turkey agree mutual forward action on Kurdish forces
By: Newsdesk Team
City of London Newsroom
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkeys president Erdogan have agrred what is being hailed as an “historic” deal to keep Kurish forces from Turkey´s border with Syria with the aim of creating a “safe zone” in the area
The deal sets out plans for joint Turkish-Russian patrols along the border next week in a deal that was seen as impossible just a few weeks ago with both sides supporting opposite sides in the Syrian civil war.
It comes during a lull in Turkey’s offensive to drive Kurdish forces out who Turkey have always regarded as terrorists. The deal will see Syrian and Russian forces immediately oversee a withdrawal of Kurdish forces.
The agreement was announced after six hours of talks on Tuesday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian host, Vladimir Putin, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
A ceasefire brokered by the US was set to expire on Tuesday evening and Turkey had threatened to re-launch its offensive against the Kurdish fighters. It said there was now “no need”.
The Turkish offensive began after the US announced a sudden and unexpected withdrawal of its troops from northern Syria, which analysts say has cemented Turkish and Russian influence in the region.
The US troops had been supporting the Kurdish fighters, who have been allies in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group in the region.