Posted on August 27, 2019 by MESOP / RUDAW / EKURD
QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan,— The Kurdish authorities in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) in northeast Syrian said Tuesday their forces had started to withdraw from outposts along the Turkish border after a US-Turkish deal for a buffer zone there.
They said work had begun Saturday on “the first practical steps — in the Serêkaniye area (Ras al-Ain) — in removing some earth mounds and withdrawing a group of (Kurdish) People’s Protection Units and heavy weapons”.
The so-called “safe zone” agreed by Washington and Ankara earlier this month aims to create a buffer in Syrian Kurdistan between the Turkish border and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group Ankara sees as “terrorists”.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkish ground troops will enter a planned safe zone in northern Syria “very soon,” after a joint operation centre with the United States opened at the weekend.
The Kurdish YPG military group — which has been a key US ally in Syria, said they would help implement the buffer zone in their Kurdish areas along the Turkish border.
The YPG has been a key partner to Washington in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria. The Kurdish YPG forces expelled the Islamic State from its last patch of territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz in March 2019.
Washington has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). But U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced the pullout from Syria.