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‘We are ready to abide by the ceasefire,’ says Syrian Democratic Forces

Published: Updated:

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said on Thursday they are willing to abide by a ceasefire announced by Washington and Turkey, after nine days of fighting along Syria’s northern border.

“We are ready to abide by the ceasefire,” covering the area from Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad, SDF chief Mazlum Abdi told a Kurdish TV station.

He spoke after Turkey said it had agreed to suspend its offensive for five days if Kurdish-led forces withdraw from areas near the border.

“"We have not discussed the fate of other areas,” he said in Kurdish, referring to parts of the northeast where Turkey wants to create what it calls a “safe zone.”

Abdi was speaking after Turkey said it had agreed to suspend its offensive for five days if Kurdish-led forces withdraw from areas near the border.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said clashes in Ras al-Ain continued despite news of the agreement.

Since Turkey launched its invasion of northeastern Syria on October 9, dozens of civilians have been killed and 300,000 have been displaced, according to the Observatory.

Abdi urged Washington to guarantee the return of the displaced and ensure the region does not undergo “demographic change.”

Turkey wants to create a buffer zone 30 kilometres (20 miles) deep on the Syrian side of the border, to keep Kurdish militias at bay and resettle some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees living on its soil.

Speaking to Al Arabiya , top Kurdish politician Aldar Xelil said he welcomed a halt to fighting in northern Syria with Turkey but the group would defend itself if subjected to an assault,

Xelil s was speaking to Al Arabiya after a ceasefire announced by US Vice President Mike Pence.

Xelil said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wants to push in 32 km (20 miles) deep into Syria, which the group has previously rejected.