Russia says withdrawal of Kurdish forces in northern Syria complete

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Russia said on Tuesday that Kurdish forces in northern Syria had withdrawn from areas along Turkey’s border as planned under a deal between Moscow and Ankara.

“The withdrawal of armed units from territory where a security corridor should be created has been completed ahead of time,” Russian news agencies quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying in Armenia.

A deadline for the withdrawal had been due to end at 6:00 pm local time (1500 GMT) on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkey’s defense minister was quoted as saying, hours before the deadline expires that the Kurdish YPG forces have still not fully withdrawn from a strip of land in northeast Syria from which Ankara says they must leave.

At least six Syrian regime fighters were killed as heavy clashes broke out Tuesday between the army and Turkish forces for the first time since Ankara attacked northeastern Syria three weeks ago, a war monitor said.

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