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article imageJoint Russian Turkish patrols to begin in Syria safe zone Friday

By Ken Hanly     Nov 1, 2019 in Politics
For the situation in northeastern Syria to remain as it is without further conflict depends a great deal on whether the existing agreement between Turkey and Russia holds successfully.
A positive sign was that Tuesday Russia announced that Kurds had withdrawn from the safe zone by the deadline.
Erdogan's response
Erdogan also confirmed that Russia and Turkey would begin joint patrols in the safe zone. This is a positive sign in that it could bring stability to the region or at the very least keeping Turkish troops from unilaterally attacking people.
However Erdogan
also made some rather belligerent remarks on Wednesday: “If we see that the members of the terrorist organization have not been moved out of the 30 km, or if attacks continue, no matter from where, we reserve our right to carry out our own operation."
Deal complicated by Turkish clashes with Syrian forces
Parts of the safe zone area were given over to the jurisdiction of Syria by the Kurds before the Turks arrived in it. The Turks have been attacking the Syrian military that is occupying the border town Ras al-Ayn. The Turks killed six Syrian troops on Tuesday and captured others with more fighting reported on Wednesday.
Russia, which supports Syria no doubt will try to work out some compromise to prevent further conflict.
The "safe zone"
Wikipedia describes the second safe zone: "The Second Northern Syria Buffer Zone is a buffer zone in northern Syria set up following an agreement reached on 22 October 2019 by the Russian and Turkish presidents in an attempt to end the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria.[1][4]"
Some background
the first agreement: "The Northern Syria Buffer Zone, also referred to as the Safe Zone or Peace Corridor, was a demilitarized zone (DMZ) established on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2019 to maintain security along the border and to dissuade a prospective Turkish invasion of the self-proclaimed Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria during the Syrian Civil War.[1]The DMZ was to be administered by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and their military councils and enforced by United States Armed Forces and Turkish Armed Forces personnel.However, the agreement was abandoned after U.S. President Donald Trump on 6 October 2019 removed American troops from the region, giving an approval of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's planned ground incursion into northern Syria, reportedly after the latter promised to take responsibility for ISIL captives in SDF-run prisons. The subsequent Turkish offensive rendered the agreement for the buffer zone outdated before it was fully implemented.[2]The arrangement was replaced on 22 October 2019 with the Second Northern Syria Buffer Zone, negotiated between Russia, Turkey and the Syrian Government."
More about Syria Safe zone, Syrian Kurds, Russia Turkey relations
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