Middle EastWar

Syrian regime forces push towards Turkey border after SDF deal

Syrian regime forces moved towards the Turkish border Monday, October 14 after the government reached a deal with beleaguered Kurdish forces following a U.S. withdrawal announcement, AFP correspondents reported.

Soldiers waving Syrian flags deployed west of Tel Tamer, not far from the flashpoint border town of Ras al-Ayn, which has been a key target of Turkish forces and their proxies since they launched their onslaught six days ago.

Tel Tamer in western Hasakah governorate is about 30 km (18 miles) south of the Syria-Turkey border and is on the M4 highway, a major route through northeast Syria.

AFP correspondents said the government forces were met by cheering residents and Syrian state television aired footage of people welcoming the soldiers.

According to a newspaper close to the Damascus regime, Syrian forces were also expected to deploy in the areas of Manbij and the border town of Kobane, further east.

U.S. troops were on the bridge leading to Manbij in a possible attempt to prevent the regime offensive, the northern Syria-based monitor Rojava Information Center said, citing a military source.

Under a deal reached between the Syrian Democratic Forces, Syrian government and Russia on Sunday, regime forces will enter Manbij, Kobane and other towns and move north to secure the border and push back the Turkish incursion.

On October 9, Turkey launched a broad cross-border offensive on areas that were controlled by the U.S.-backed SDF, which it considers to be a terrorist organization.

The move came after a President Donald Trump announced the pullback of U.S. troops from the border area effectively gave Ankara a green light to launch its long-prepared operation.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all 1,000 U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would withdraw after learning that Turkey plans to expand its offensive further south than originally stated.


With reporting from AFP

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