Russian & Syrian forces to deploy to northern Syria outside Turkey operation zone – Putin-Erdogan agreement
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have signed a cooperation agreement in Sochi, following talks focused on Turkey’s military operation in Syria.
Their meeting lasted almost seven hours – significantly longer than initially expected – and left journalists waiting for the two leaders for quite a while.
The talks in Sochi were focused on the situation in Syria, particularly the ongoing offensive in its northeastern region.
On October 9, the region was invaded by the Turkish military and affiliated militants from the so-called Syrian “opposition.” The operation targeted Kurdish-led militias, which Ankara considers to be “terrorists.” The assault, dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring,’ kicked off just two days after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of his country’s troops from the northeast of Syria.
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Last week, the US and Turkey agreed a five-day ceasefire in the region, which expires at 10pm local time (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday. The pause in the operation was intended to allow the Kurdish-led militias to withdraw, facilitating the creation of a 20-mile “safe zone” within Syria that Turkey has sought to establish. Earlier in the day, Erdogan said he was ready to resume the operation if the US fails to keep its promises.
Moscow has repeatedly urged Turkey to show restraint in its activities in Syria, and warned it against doing anything that might hamper the political settlement process in the country.
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