More Russian military police arrive in Syria under peace deal with Turkey

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Around 300 extra Russian military police have arrived in Syria, the protection ministry mentioned on Friday, under an accord between Ankara and Moscow which halted Turkey’s military incursion into northeast Syria.

FILE PHOTO: Russian and Syrian nationwide flags flutter on military autos close to Manbij, Syria, October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki/File Photo

The deal, reached on Tuesday by Presidents Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, requires that Russian military police and Syrian border guards take away all Kurdish YPG militia from inside 30 km (19 miles) of the Turkish border by subsequent Tuesday.

The military police, from the southern Russian area of Chechnya, will patrol and assist with the withdrawal of Kurdish forces and their weapons to 30 km of the Syrian-Turkish border, Interfax information company reported the ministry as saying.

Ankara regards the YPG as a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish militants who’ve waged an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984. Turkey launched its cross-border offensive towards the YPG on Oct. 9 after U.S. President Trump ordered U.S. forces out of northeast Syria.

On Thursday, the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused Turkey of launching a big land offensive concentrating on three villages in northeast Syria regardless of a truce, forcing hundreds of civilians to flee.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry didn’t remark instantly on the SDF report however mentioned 5 of its military personnel had been wounded in an assault by the YPG militia across the border city of Ras al Ain, close to the place the three villages are situated.

Russia mentioned the peace plan hammered out on Tuesday was going forward easily and RIA information company quoted an SDF official as saying Kurdish fighters had already withdrawn from the border space. It additionally mentioned the Kurds had been prepared to debate becoming a member of the Syrian military as soon as Syria’s disaster had been settled politically.

The deal agreed with Putin constructed on and widened a earlier U.S.-brokered ceasefire and helped finish preventing. Trump has since lifted sanctions on Turkey which he imposed over its incursion.


The U.N. particular envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, advised Reuters the ceasefire gave the impression to be holding “by and large” as main powers collect in Geneva forward of the primary assembly of Syria’s Constitutional Committee subsequent week.

Turkey hosts some three.6 million refugees who fled the eight-year-old warfare in Syria and plans to settle as much as two million refugees in a “safe zone” on the Syrian aspect of the border.

An Amnesty International report printed on Friday mentioned Turkey was forcibly sending refugees again to Syria. Ankara denies sending any Syrians again towards their will. [L5N27A1WX]

Next Tuesday, under the phrases of the deal reached in Sochi, Russian and Turkish forces will begin to patrol a 10-km (6-mile) strip of land in northeast Syria the place U.S. troops had been deployed for years alongside with their former Kurdish allies.

The arrival of the Russian police marks a shift in the regional stability of energy simply two weeks after Trump started pulling out U.S. forces, a transfer criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of the Americans’ former Kurdish allies.

It has additionally highlighted a rising safety relationship between Russia, now the dominant energy inside Syria, and NATO member Turkey.

A U.S. protection official mentioned on Thursday Washington was dedicated to reinforcing its military place in Syria “with additional military assets” – a transparent signal that it has dropped plans for a full withdrawal from Syria and will add capabilities to strengthen American forces remaining in the nation.

Turkey’s military operation has been extensively condemned by its NATO allies, which mentioned it was inflicting a recent humanitarian disaster in Syria’s eight-year battle and will let Islamic State prisoners held by the YPG escape and regroup.

The scenario in Syria is predicted to be mentioned by NATO protection ministers assembly in Brussels on Friday. The U.S. and Turkish ministers are amongst these attending.

Reporting by Andrey Kuzmin in Moscow and Ali Kucukgocmen; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Gareth Jones

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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