SDF chief thanks Russia for saving Syria Kurds from ‘scourge’ of war

Mazloum Abdi (Kobani), commander-in-chief of SDF speaks with AFP during an interview in the countryside outside the northwestern Syrian city of Hasakah, on January 24, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

The head of the Kurd-led Syrian Democratic Forces has thanked Moscow for saving his people from the “scourge” of war after Russia struck a deal with Ankara ending its weeks-long Syria offensive.

In a phone call with Russia’s defense minister and military chief, Mazloum Abdi “expressed his thanks to President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation for their keenness on defusing the war in our region and sparing civilians its scourge,” the SDF said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Commander-in-Chief also expressed reservations about some points of the agreement, which require further discussions and dialogue,” it added.

Under the deal signed in Sochi on Tuesday, Turkey will remain fully deployed in an Arab-majority area that was the main target of its two-week offensive in northern Syria.

It also requires Kurdish forces to pull back to a line 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the border along its entire length (440 kilometers), forcing them to surrender some of their main towns and crushing their dreams of autonomy.

Russia and Turkey will then start joint patrols in two zones along the border.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump announced that recent US sanctions on Turkey will be lifted.

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Last Update: 21:13 KSA 00:13 - GMT 21:13
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