Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Turkey will not resume military operations in north-eastern Syria

Ankara had been threatening the resumption of its offensive after claims that Russia and the US had not kept their sides of an agreement reached last month

Kurdish demonstrators hurl rocks at a Turkish military vehicle on November 8, 2019, during a joint Turkish-Russian patrol near the town of Al Muabbadah in the north-east Hassakah. AFP
Kurdish demonstrators hurl rocks at a Turkish military vehicle on November 8, 2019, during a joint Turkish-Russian patrol near the town of Al Muabbadah in the north-east Hassakah. AFP

Turkey is reportedly not planning to resume military operations in north-east Syria, despite weeks of warnings of a wider offensive.

Security sources said that Ankara will not resume the operation into the Kurdish controlled region of northern Syria and would abide by agreements it reached with Russia and the United States regarding the region.

Ankara reached separate agreements with Moscow and Washington last month to remove the Kurdish YPG militia from a strip of land bordering Turkey, which in return stopped its military offensive against the militia.

But Ankara has repeatedly criticised Moscow and Washington for not abiding by their side of the agreements and warned that it could lead to them pushing deeper into Syria. Despite the ceasefire to implement the terms of the agreements, sporadic fighting has continued in several areas.

The weeks of fighting displaced tens of thousands of civilians after Turkey and its Syrian proxy militias pushed into territory held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a multi-ethnic Kurdish led group, on October 9.

In a bid to safeguard the region and push Turkey back, the Kurdish leadership made a deal with Damascus to see the Syrian military return to the region and fight alongside the SDF. The move marked the first major Syrian government deployment in the country’s north-east in years since Damascus retreated from the region early on in the eight-year civil war.

Updated: November 25, 2019 03:10 PM

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