Five-day ceasefire expires in northern Syria

World Today

A cease-fire deal signed between between Turkey and the U-S that required Syrian Kurdish YPG forces to withdraw from an agreed border area is now over.

The presidents of Turkey and Russia have reached an agreement over a ‘terror-free’ zone in the North.

CGTN’s Michael Bardavid reports.

On Tuesday evening, Syrian Kurdish YPG announced their forces had completed their withdrawal from agreed areas in northeastern Syria before the deadline.

On October 17, Turkey and the United States had signed an agreement that gave the Syrian Kurdish YPG 120 hours to withdraw from a border area 30 kilometers deep that included the Syrian towns of Ras Al-ain and Tal Abyad.

Turkey had agreed to keep its military in position but to suspend attacks during that time period.

If Turkey does not launch new attacks, the U.S. is also expected to lift sanctions it had imposed on Turkey due to the offensive.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization and had launched the so-called Operation Peace Spring to clear its border areas of the YPG.

The offensive had resulted in dozens being killed from both sides following days of fighting before the U.S. intervened and signed a ceasefire agreement.

The offensive also triggered a U.S. pullout from the region and U.S. troops were replaced by Syrian government forces when the YPG requested their support.

The Syrian army is now deployed in key towns such as Manbij and Kobane.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to negotiate a deal regarding the withdrawal of the YPG from these areas.

And so they did. Both leaders emphasized the significance of the deal for the region.

The two countries have also agreed to launch joint efforts to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of Syrian refugees.

While acknowledging Ankara’s legitimate security concerns Turkey and Russia also reiterated their commitment to the political and territorial unity of Syria.

Middle East conflicts and policy analyst Wardah Khalid on Syria latest

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Wardah Khalid about the latest on the conflict between Turkey and Kurds in Syria.