Turkey and Russia have struck a deal aiming to keep Kurdish forces away from the Syrian-Turkish border.
Under the terms of the deal, Turkey and Russia will both patrol the border to keep Kurdish forces out of a ‘safe zone’.
Earlier in October, Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria following US President Donald Trump’s controversial withdrawal of US troops from Syria. After striking the deal, Turkey said there were no plans to launch a new offensive as Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from the ‘safe zone’.
As part of its offensive, Turkey seized a 120 kilometre-long strip of land between the city of Ras al-Din and the town of Tal Abyad along the border. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said Turkey would resettle 2 million Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey during Syria’s civil war, which erupted in 2011.
According to a statement from the Russian government, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has welcomed the Russian-Turkish pact.
Russia and Turkey backed opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, with Moscow providing significant military and economic support to Al-Assad’s forces, and Turkey providing support to opposition forces.
According to the UN, more than 176,000 people have been displaced since the Turkish military incursion into northern Syria began on 10 October.