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Turkish Foreign Minister warns of resuming Syrian offensive if deal on Kurdish pullout is not fulfilled

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that his country was ready to resume its offensive in northeastern Syria if the United States and Russia do not implement their share of agreements on the withdrawal of Kurdish militia, whom Ankara designates as terrorists, from the safe zone.

"Have they fulfilled whatever was necessary under the agreements? No, they have not until now, but they should," the minister said, as quoted by Turkey's Anadolu news agency.

According to the minister, Turkey "will do whatever is necessary [in northern Syria]" to ensure security.

Cavusoglu also recalled that Ankara had to clear the safe zone of Kurdish forces to eliminate the "terrorist threat" posed by these units.

On October 9, Turkey launched "Operation Peace Spring" in northeastern Syria to clear the area of Kurdish militia.

The United States and Turkey came to an agreement on 17 October for a 120-hour ceasefire to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish fighters from the Syrian-Turkish border.

As the five-day ceasefire came to an end, Turkey and Russia reached a deal involving the pullback of the Kurdish fighters from the 18-mile safe-zone on the Syria-Turkish border for the further accommodation of Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey.

In addition, Moscow and Ankara have begun joint patrols in the operation zone along the Turkish border.

On 29 October, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that the pullout of the Kurdish armed units from the safe zone had been finished ahead of schedule.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 19 2019. 06:12 IST
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