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Turkey, Russia agree Kurdish YPG withdrawal, joint patrols Updated: 2019-10-23 07:05:54 KST

Turkey and Russia agreed on Tuesday to remove the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that are within 30 kilometers of the Turkish border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the agreement at a joint news conference after their summit in Sochi on Tuesday local time.

"Starting 1200 pm noon of October 23, within 150 hours, YPG terrorists and their arms will be taken out of 30 km depth. Their fortifications and positions will be destroyed. After 150 hours, in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10 km, Turkish and Russian joint patrol will begin. All YPG terrorists in Tel Rifaat and Manbij will be taken off this area together with their arms."

The Syrian Democratic Forces, a force that's part of the YPG militia, is seen as a terrorist group by Turkey because of their links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey.
Under the agreement between Putin and Erdogan, Syrian and Russian forces will replace the American troops that have guarded the region for years together with the Kurds.
After six days, these forces will jointly patrol the so-called "safe zone", a 10 kilometer wide area next to the Turkish border.
Putin expressed satisfaction after the six hour long summit with Erdogan, describing the tense situation on the Syrian-Turkish border as a very important issue to resolve.

"We share Turkey's concerns about the growing threats of terrorism and the growth of ethnic tensions in the region. These tensions and the separatist mood in recent times were, in our opinion, artificially created by outsiders."

When the ceasefire agreement negotiated between the U.S. and Turkey came to an end, the commander of the SDF informed the U.S that all SDF forces had left the area.
Displaced by war, thousands of Syrian Kurds have fled to neighboring Iraq to escape Turkey's military offensive.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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