Syrian Kurds will withdraw from border in accordance with US deal
search

Syrian Kurds will withdraw from border in accordance with US deal

Top Syrian Democratic Forces official says evacuation of Ras al-Ayn planned Sunday, after partial evacuation took place Saturday

Members of the special forces of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured during preparations to join the front against Turkish forces, on October 10, 2019, near the northern Syrian town of Hasakeh.  (Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)
Members of the special forces of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured during preparations to join the front against Turkish forces, on October 10, 2019, near the northern Syrian town of Hasakeh. (Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

A senior Syrian Kurdish official said his forces will pull back from a border area in accordance with a US-brokered deal after Turkey allows the evacuation of its remaining fighters and civilians from a besieged town there.

Redur Khalil, a senior Syrian Democratic Forces official, said Saturday the plan for evacuation from the town of Ras al-Ayn was set for the following day, if there are no delays.

He said only after that will his force pull back from a 120-kilometer (75-mile) area between the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal-Aybad. It will withdraw and move back from the border 30 kilometers (19 miles).

This is the first time the Kurdish force has publicly acknowledged it would withdraw from the border, saying it had coordinated it with the Americans. The agreement has not specified the area of its pullback.

Previous agreements between the US and Turkey over a “safe zone” along the Syria-Turkish border floundered over the diverging definitions of the area.

Khalil said a partial evacuation happened earlier Saturday from Ras al-Ayn after much stalling and with US coordination.

Syrian Kurds flee the countryside of the northeastern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border, toward the west to the town of Tal Tamr on October 19, 2019. (Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

Turkey had agreed to suspend its Syria offensive for five days to allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from a safe zone along the border.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned he will “crush the heads” of Kurdish forces if they did not pull back from the zone.

On Saturday, Turkey and Kurdish forces accused one another of violating the ceasefire agreement.

The Turkish offensive launched earlier this month has prompted hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in the latest humanitarian crisis of Syria’s eight-year civil war.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments