Syria’s Kurds ‘ready to abide by ceasefire’ in some areas, says SDF chief

Syria’s Kurds ‘ready to abide by ceasefire’ in some areas, says SDF chief
A Kurdish military leader has confirmed the SDF will abide by Thursday’s ceasefire deal, withdrawing from territory between Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad over the coming days.
2 min read
18 October, 2019
An SDF-affiliated fighter stands by as Syrian regime troops patrol the outskirts of Manbij [Getty]
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Thursday they are willing to abide by a ceasefire announced by Washington and Turkey, after nine days of fighting along Syria's northern border.

"We are ready to abide by the ceasefire," covering the area from Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad, SDF chief Mazlum Abdi told a Kurdish TV station.

"We have not discussed the fate of other areas," he said in Kurdish, referring to parts of the northeast where Turkey wants to create what it calls a "safe zone"

Abdi was speaking after Turkey said it had agreed to suspend its offensive for five days if Kurdish-led forces withdraw from areas near the border.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said clashes in Ras al-Ain continued despite news of the agreement.

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The ceasefire and withdrawal deal has attracted backlash by observers who say it allows Turkey to take all of the Syrian territory it planned to, providing no solution to the thousands it will displace.

Since Turkey launched its invasion of northeastern Syria on October 9, dozens of civilians have been killed and 300,000 have been displaced, according to the Observatory. 

Abdi urged Washington to guarantee the return of the displaced and ensure the region does not undergo "demographic change." 

Turkey wants to create a buffer zone 30 kilometres (20 miles) deep on the Syrian side of the border, to keep Kurdish militias at bay and resettle some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees living on its soil.

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