Turkey urges US to use ‘leverage’ to ensure Kurdish force pullout

Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters on an armoured personnel carrier drive to cross the border into Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, on October 18, 2019. (AP)

Turkey on Saturday urged the United States to use its “leverage” over Syrian Kurdish forces to ensure an orderly pullout under an agreement reached with Washington, the presidency spokesman said.

“We are committed to this agreement: Within five days they are supposed to leave and we have told our American colleagues to use their leverage, their connections to make sure that they leave without any incidents,” spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told AFP in an interview in Istanbul.

Turkey and Kurdish forces on Saturday traded accusations of breaching the truce deal in northeastern Syria which is aimed at halting a Turkish-led offensive on condition that the militants retreat from a “safe zone” along the border.

The deal brokered by the United States gives Kurdish forces five days for a complete withdrawal - a deadline which expires Tuesday night.

Kalin said Turkey was sticking to its end of the deal.

“Since we reached this agreement with the American delegation, we have been committed to this deal,” he said.

“Our president has ordered our troops to maintain their positions and not engage anybody.”

Kalin accused Kurdish forces of perpetrating 16 attacks in the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

The commander of Kurdish forces in Syria, Mazloum Abdi, earlier on Saturday accused Ankara of sabotaging the agreement with Washington by blocking the withdrawal of his forces from a flashpoint border town in northeastern Syria, a claim Turkey denied.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
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