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Tag: Syria

Turkey and Russia agree to Syria ‘safe zone’ with no Kurdish fighters

Turkey and Russia agree to Syria ‘safe zone’ with no Kurdish fighters

World
Russia and Turkey have agreed to joint military patrols along the Turkish-Syrian border as they demanded Syrian Kurdish fighters withdraw from the area.Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, made the agreement during a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi moments before a five-day ceasefire ended. US President Donald Trump announced two weeks previously that US troops would withdraw from northeastern Syria, leaving its Kurdish allies to fend for themselves as Turkey launched an offensive. Russia, the Syrian government's strongest ally and previous enemy of the Kurds, stepped in to negotiate with Turkey as more than 166,000 Kurds fled the region, many into Iraq.Mr Putin and Mr Erdogan agreed Russian military police and Syrian border guard...
US demands Syria ceasefire as it announces sanctions against Turkey

US demands Syria ceasefire as it announces sanctions against Turkey

World
Donald Trump has told the Turkish leader to end his incursion into northern Syria, as the US announced sanctions against Turkey.Vice President Mike Pence said Mr Trump spoke directly to Recep Tayyip Erdogan to demand an immediate ceasefire and talks with Kurdish forces. "President Trump communicated to him very clearly that the United States of America wants Turkey to stop the invasion, implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria to bring an end to the violence," Mr Pence said. Image: Mike Pence is being sent to Turkey to try to negotiate a ceasefire He, along with national security adviser Robert O'Brien, is being sent to Ankara as soon as possible to try to negotiate an end to the fighting...
Turkey Syria offensive: Tens of thousands flee homes

Turkey Syria offensive: Tens of thousands flee homes

World
Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Syria, as Turkish forces step up their cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas.Turkish troops have encircled the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad and aid agencies fear the exodus could reach hundreds of thousands.International clamour has increased for Turkey to halt the attack.Turkey has defended its bid to create a "safe zone" free of Kurdish militias which could also house Syrian refugees.Turkey regards the Kurdish militias of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - which have controlled the cross-border areas - as "terrorists" who support an anti-Turkish insurgency.The SDF have been key allies of the United States in the battle against the Islamic State (...
‘We didn’t give Turkey the green light’ – Pompeo defends Syria withdrawal

‘We didn’t give Turkey the green light’ – Pompeo defends Syria withdrawal

World
By Alix Culbertson and Chris Robertson, news reporters US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has defended Donald Trump's withdrawal of troops in Syria, saying the president did not give Turkey the "green light" to invade the country.Speaking to PBS Newshour, Mr Pompeo said that during the phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "it became very clear that there were American soldiers that were going to be at risk and the President made a decision to put them in a place where they were out of harm's way. That's what we've done". He also added that he feels that Turkey has a "legitimate security concern" and waved off claims from Republican Senator Lindsay Graham that the attack could lead to a reemergence of IS. The land assau...
Trump makes way for Turkey operation against Kurds in Syria

Trump makes way for Turkey operation against Kurds in Syria

World
The US says it is stepping aside for an imminent Turkish operation against Kurdish-led forces within Syria that have until now been a key US ally.Kurdish militias played a major role in defeating the Islamic State (IS) group, but Turkey regards them as terrorists.The US - which has hundreds of troops in north-eastern Syria - has begun to withdraw them from border areas.The main Kurdish-led force has condemned the pullout and accused the US of abandoning its fighters. In January, President Trump threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if it attacked Kurdish forces. Turkey 'ready to set up Syria safe zone' Why the battle for northern Syria matters However, a White House statement issued on Sunday makes no reference to the Kur...