Turkey and Russia have agreed what is called a “historic” deal aimed at halting the Turkish offensive. The agreement requires that Kurdish-led SDF begins withdrawal from within 30 km of the Turkish border. This announcement has been welcomed by Damascus which said Turkey should now end its “aggression” in northeast Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have agreed to move away from the Turkish border, in accordance with an agreement reached between Russia and Turkey on Tuesday October, 22nd. This deal, negotiated between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, calls for withdraw of Kurdish forces 30 km away from the Turkish border. This should take about six days, according to the terms of the deal.
On October 9th, Turkey launched an offensive targeting Kurdish force in Northeast Syria. Turkey says that it plans to create a “safe zone” to resettle some of the 3.6 million refugees currently residing on its soil in the area. People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the main component of SDF and are viewed by Ankara as terrorists, despite their alliance in the United States war against Islamic State militants.
The Erdogan-Putin agreement was reached after marathon talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Under the terms of this deal, Russian and Turkish forces should start patrolling a section of the Turkish-Syrian border that runs 10 km deep into Syria. Russian military police conducted their first patrols on Wednesday October 23rd.
Syria Kurds expect ISIS revenge attacks after Baghdadi death
Syria’s Kurdish forces said they expected revenge attacks by ISIS following the US announcement Sunday that the leader of the Islamic State militant group, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, had been killed during a raid in north-western Syria, according to AFP. Mazloum Abdi, the SDF commander, said that “Sleeper cells will seek revenge for Baghdadi’s death. This is why anything is possible, including attacks on prisons.”
The US military operation that targeted ISIS leader was delayed for a full month by Turkey’s military activity at the border and the subsequent incursion into north-eastern Syria. But experts and officials stated that the Islamic State still poses a threat in Syria even after Baghdadi’s death, particularly since thousands of ISIS fighters and their family members escaped detention during the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria.