Russian Official: Syrian Kurds Pulling Back from Turkish Border
Russia’s deputy foreign minister says that Kurdish forces have begun withdrawing from areas within a 20-mile-deep corridor that Turkey is seeking to turn into a “safe zone” just inside Syria. “We note with satisfaction that the agreements reached in Sochi are being implemented,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency on Thursday. “Everything is being implemented.” According to agreements reached earlier this week between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian troops will help facilitate the removal of Kurdish fighters from the corridor within about a week, in return for a cease-fire by Turkey and its Syrian proxies. Turkey began an incursion into the corridor on October 9, saying the Kurdish militia was aiding Turkish Kurds agitating for autonomy.