Small Wars Journal

Kurdish Forces Withdraw From Syrian Border Area

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 12:19am

Kurdish Forces Withdraw From Syrian Border Area by Sune Engel Rasmussen – Wall Street Journal

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters withdrew from a key border town in northeastern Syria, fulfilling a part of the cease-fire agreement between Turkey and the U.S., as a large convoy of American troops also prepared to pull out of the country and its protracted conflict.

Ankara agreed with Washington on Thursday to a five-day truce, during which the Syrian Kurds are expected to depart from an area Turkey has defined as a safe zone along the two nations’ borders. Both sides have accused each other of violating the cease-fire, with the town of Ras al-Ain at the center of the fighting.

Critics have said the agreement was a wholesale concession to Ankara, giving it control of an area in Syria it has coveted for years and freeing it from U.S. sanctions in return for pausing an offensive it had no international backing for. While President Trump hailed the pact as a diplomatic victory, U.S.-allied Kurds have likened it to a surrender on their part…

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