Turkey says YPG withdrawal not complete; joint Russian patrols start Friday

Members of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), part of the of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), gather in the town of Shadadi, about 60 kilometers south of the northeastern Syrian city of Hassakeh. (File photo: AFP)

Kurdish YPG militia had not completed its withdrawal to at least 30 kilometers away from the Turkish border in northeast Syria, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday despite assurances from Russia that they had left.

Turkey reserves the right to launch another operation against the YPG in the area, Erdogan said. He added that Ankara and Moscow will begin joint patrols in Syria within a strip seven kilometers from the border as of Friday.

Turkey’s defense minister said on Wednesday that talks with the Russian delegation on Syria have concluded, adding that they “largely” reached an agreement, the Anadolu news agency reported.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Russia had informed Turkey that the Syrian Kurdish YPG had left a planned “safe zone” within a deadline set by Ankara and Moscow. Under their agreement, Russia and Turkey were then due to start joint patrols.

“Inter-delegation talks with Russia were concluded a short while ago. An agreement was largely reached. Our efforts continue in a mutually constructive, understanding way,” Akar was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56