Erdogan says Kurdish fighters have not left Syria 'safe zone" despite U.S, Russia deals

Erdogan says Kurdish fighters have not left Syria 'safe zone" despite U.S, Russia deals
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrives at the Land Forces' Forward Joint Operation Command Center in Sanliurfa, Turkey, November 3, 2019. Murat Kula/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS -
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ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia had not withdrawn from a planned “safe zone” in northeast Syria despite Turkey’s agreements with the United States and Russia.

Turkey struck two separate deals with the United States and Russia for the YPG, which Ankara views as a terrorist group, to withdraw from the “safe zone” it plans to form in northeastern Syria. While Washington and Moscow have said the fighters left, Erdogan has said this was not the case.

Speaking to lawmakers from his AK Party in Ankara, Erdogan said YPG fighters remained in Tel Rifaat, Manbij and to the east of Ras al Ain, which Turkey targeted in its latest incursion. He also said Turkey would abide by its deals as long as the United States and Russia kept their own promises.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay)

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