Turkey sees YPG withdrawal incomplete; joint Russian patrols to start Friday
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday claimed that some members of the Kurdish YPG militia had failed to meet a Tuesday evening deadline to withdraw to 30 km (18.64 miles) from the Turkish border in northeast Syria, adding that his county ‘reserved the right’ to target any YPG fighters in the ‘safe zone’ that Turkey and Russia have established along the border. Russia and Turkey are set to begin joint patrols in the safe zone on Friday.
Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization. Earlier this month, after US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria, Turkey invaded the region and launched an attack on the US allied Syrian Democratic Forces led by the YPG. Russia soon stepped in to fill the vacuum left by the US departure, and cut a deal with Turkey to create a safe zone that effectively carves up the region.