Russia Will Help Turkey Remove U.S.-Allied Kurds From Northern Syria Border
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart agreed to a deal on Tuesday that will see Russia assist in the removal of American-allied Kurds from Syria’s northern border, The Washington Post reported.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Putin in Sochi, where the two leaders discussed next steps in the matter of Turkey’s incursion into Syria. Erdogan began the assault after President Donald Trump cleared the way, withdrawing U.S. troops from the region.
The agreement reached on Tuesday said “Russia and the Syrian government, its ally, would start removing Kurdish militias from the border region beginning at noon Wednesday,” The Post reported.
The deal “expanded on a previous agreement between the United States and Turkey, which had established a Turkish military zone along a narrower strip of the border.”
Russia and Turkey will engage in joint patrols along the border after Kurdish forces are gone, the agreement said.
Putin currently occupies a unique position in the Middle East, particularly after Trump abruptly pulled U.S. troops — and with them, U.S. influence — in Syria. The Russian president is closely allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is no friend of Erdogan, and has sought to help Assad take back full control of Syria.
On Tuesday, Assad called Erdogan “a thief” who has stolen Syrian land, The Post said.