Syrian regime, Kurds agree on truce in Hasakeh

The military was continuing to hit ISIS targets in the Syrian town of Jarablus on the border with Turkey. (Reuters)

Regime forces and Kurdish fighters agreed on Tuesday to a truce in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh after a week of clashes, a Kurdish official and Syrian state media said.

A statement distributed to journalists by a Kurdish official said the agreement included “a ceasefire and the withdrawal of all armed forces from the city.”

The official said the deal was brokered “under the auspices of Russian military officials” while Syrian state television confirmed the truce was reached on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, Turkey’s military fired on Syrian Kurdish targets 20 times with artillery at Manbij in northern Syria, a Turkish official said Tuesday, adding that the military was also continuing to hit ISIS targets in the Syrian town of Jarablus on the border with Turkey.

“The fundamental aim in the latest operation is to open a corridor for moderate rebels,” the official said.

Turkey considers Kurdish separatist rebels whether in its territories or outside in Syria or Iraq as a threat to its national security.

Syrian regime clashing with the Kurds came after Syrian Kurdish militia seized on Thursday several positions from government forces in Hassakeh, expanding their control in one of the heaviest clashes yet between Kurdish groups and the government.

The fighting this week led to the first use of Syrian air force jets against Kurdish groups that are a crucial ally of the United States in its fight against ISIS insurgents.

In a related story, the United States and Russia continue to make “headway” in talks on advancing cooperation to ease the Syria conflict, but haven’t reached a final deal yet, the US State Department said on Tuesday.

“We are continuing those discussions. We continue to make headway. We’re not quite there yet,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49