Putin and Erdogan welcome 'decisive' and 'historic' deal on Syria offensive

Russia and Turkey have plans to launch joint patrols in northeastern Syria following the disarmament of Kurdish militias in the region.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Sochi on Tuesday (October 22nd).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Sochi on Tuesday (October 22nd). ALEXEY DRUZHININ / AFP

A "Historic agreement", for Recep Tayyip Erdogan; solutions "Decisive" according to Vladimir Putin. After marathon negotiations in Sochi, Russia, the Turkish and Russian presidents reached an agreement on Tuesday (October 22nd), notably to launch joint patrols in northeastern Syria, after the disarming of Kurdish militias. In the region.

"These decisions are, in my opinion, very important, even decisive, and will make it possible to resolve a very tense situation"said Putin, about this mechanism to prevent the resumption of the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria against Kurdish armed groups. "Today, with Mr. Putin, we have reached a historic agreement for the fight against terrorism, the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria, as well as for the return of refugees"said, for its part, Mr. Erdogan.

Read also Turks and Kurds accuse each other of violating truce in Syria

Ankara ready to strike if YPG do not withdraw

Turkey, calling for a "safe zone" on its border, calls it 'Terrorists' Kurdish fighters long allied with Washington in the fight against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). Ankara, however, suspended its offensive on Thursday, in a fragile truce negotiated between Turks and Americans, to allow the Kurdish forces of YPG (People's Protection Units) to withdraw from the border areas.

Turkey did not " no need " to resume its offensive against the Kurdish forces in northern Syria because they have withdrawn from the border areas, said Tuesday evening the Turkish Ministry of Defense. "At this stage, there is no need to conduct a new operation", the ministry said, adding that the Kurdish withdrawal had been confirmed by the United States.

According to Erdogan, the agreement with Putin, the ally of the Damascus regime, focuses on the areas of northeastern Syria where the YPGs are present, but where the Turkish offensive was not extended before suspension.

Read the analysis: A temporary cease-fire agreement in Syria

With respect to the eastern and western border stripes of this area, the YPG forces must withdraw from it. "Within one hundred and fifty hours from 23 October at 12 noon (11 hours French time), beyond 30 kilometers, with their weapons »said Erdogan. "The fortifications and positions of the organization will be destroyed", he added.


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