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US 'betrayed' Syria's Kurds, says Moscow

AFP  |  Moscow 

The Kremlin on Wednesday accused Washington of betraying the Kurds by withdrawing its forces from northern Syria and leaving allies alone in the face of a Turkish offensive.

To international surprise, US President Donald Trump announced in early October that American forces would withdraw from Syria, paving the way for Turkey to push into the border area against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia it considers "terrorists".

"The US were the closest allies for the Kurds for several years. In the end the US abandoned the Kurds, effectively betraying them," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian agencies.

"They prefer to leave the Kurds at the border and practically force them to fight the Turks," he said.

Turkey paused its offensive into Syria on October 17. On Tuesday evening, it announced that the offensive would be halted following a retreat of Kurdish forces from border zones.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both involved in the conflict from opposite sides, struck a deal on northern Syria on Tuesday.

It will ensure Kurdish forces withdraw from areas close to Syria's border with Turkey and set up joint Russian and Turkish patrols around a Turkish-controlled "safe zone" inside the country.

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

First Published: Wed, October 23 2019. 14:05 IST