Tags: erdogan | syria | kurds | ceasefire

Erdogan Vows to Crush Kurds If They Don't Leave By Tuesday

Erdogan Vows to Crush Kurds If They Don't Leave By Tuesday
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AFP/Getty Images)

Saturday, 19 October 2019 10:41 AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to resume Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria if they don’t withdraw by the end of a U.S.-brokered five-day truce on Tuesday night.

Kurdish and Turkish officials have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce that was announced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone along the border. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces urged the U.S. earlier on Saturday to push for the creation of a safe corridor to evacuate the wounded from the key border town of Ras al-Ayn.

Highlighting the fragility of the truce deal, Turkey and the Kurds have disagreed on its parameters. The SDF has said the cease-fire was limited to the 120 km strip between the border towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. Erdogan says the deal requires Kurdish fighters to withdraw from an area 444 km long and 32 km deep.

The U.S. fought with the SDF for years to defeat Islamic State but withdrew from the area as Turkey began a long-threatened offensive this month to clear a part of northeastern Syria of Kurdish militants it considers a threat to national security. Abandoned by the U.S., the Kurds made a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who’s troops have deployed to the border with Turkey, upending old alliances and pushing the eight-year-old Syrian war into an unpredictable new phase.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to resume Turkey's offensive against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria if they don't withdraw by the end of a U.S.-brokered five-day truce on Tuesday night.
erdogan, syria, kurds, ceasefire
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2019-41-19
Saturday, 19 October 2019 10:41 AM
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