Syrian Kurds agree to withdraw south, but not east

Kurdish-backed forces in northern Syria say they will withdraw south from their current positions in order not to put the lives of civilians in danger, following attacks by Turkey-backed Syrian rebels.

The announcement by the Jarablus Military Council, which is part of the predominantly Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces, comes hours after Turkey’s foreign minister ordered Kurdish Syrian forces to withdraw east of the Euphrates River “immediately” or face more strikes.

The move is not likely to please the Turks who are demanding a full withdrawal from all areas west of the Euphrates.

The council says its fighters will withdraw to areas south of the Sajour River, a tributary of the Euphrates.

They say they will withdraw in order for the rebels not to “have any justification to continue shelling civilians.”

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— AP

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