US begins pulling out from Turkish border areas in Syria – Kurdish forces
Turkey considers Kurdish militias in Syria an extension of its domestic Kurdish guerrillas. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was a US ally in the fight for northeastern Syria, is predominantly Kurdish, so Ankara sees them as terrorists.
Turkey has been threatening to launch a military campaign against Syrian Kurds, saying it is necessary to secure a safe zone along the border. The US failed to convince its NATO ally otherwise and is now moving out of the way.Also on rt.com ‘No longer in the area’: US troops will neither help nor hamper Turkey’s cross-border operation in Syria
According to the Kurdish Hawar news agency, the US troops left their positions in the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad on Monday.
“The American forces did not fulfill their commitments and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey, and Turkey is now preparing for an invasion operation of northern and eastern Syria,” the SDF said in a statement.
The Kurds reiterated that the Turkish operation may facilitate resurgence of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), which was SDF’s primary opponent in the fight for northeastern Syria.
Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan said his US counterpart assured him on Sunday evening that the withdrawal of US troops was imminent. The White House previously reported the phone call between the two leaders, saying it will not be involved in the Turkish operation in any way.
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