Trump's Syria withdrawal a 'lottery win' for Putin

A man who was injured during the ongoing Turkish offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria lies at a hospital in Tal Tamr near the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan said that Turkey will crush the PKK terror group and its Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists if they don't withdraw within the agreed 120-hour timeframe from the safe zone area in northern Syria, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.

On Thursday evening Turkey agreed to a 120-hour pause in military operations against the YPG militia for the next five days to give Kurdish troops time to withdraw from a proposed "safe zone" along its border.

"If it is safe and secure, we'd return", he said.

The Turkish leader said he also informed US President Donald Trump of Ankara's position during a phone call late Friday.

Abdi said he wants Trump to reverse the withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria and reverse the USA deal with Turkey - "so we can find a complete political solution to the Syrian conflict".

Turkey says the "safe zone" would make room to settle up to 2 million Syrian war refugees - roughly half the number it is now hosting - and would push back the YPG militia, which Ankara deems a terrorist group due to its links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey. Erdogan says the deal requires Kurdish fighters to withdraw from an area 444 km long and 32 km deep.

"This can only happen if all parties involved in the Syrian conflict adhere to UN Resolution 2254, which calls for a Syrian-led political transition that can draft a new constitution and hold elections under UN supervision", he said.

The Kurdish-led force, which had only a nominal, indirect role in the deal, said it will abide by the halt in fighting but has not committed to any pullout.

USA officials said the Trump administration, which has withdrawn its troops from combat areas, has been actively involved in trying to ensure that the agreement is a success.

"And we're hopeful in the hours ahead that both the Turks who were part of the agreement alongside of us as well as the YPG fighters in the region will take seriously the commitments they made", he told reporters in Brussels.

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Previous agreements between the United States and Turkey over a "safe zone" along the Syria-Turkish border floundered over the diverging definitions of the area.

But Abdi said he could not abandon his forces in Ras al-Ain, which is besieged by Turkish troops and their Syrian allies.

"Whatever we can do as the SDF to make this ceasefire work, we will do". Throughout much of the day Friday, fighting was reported there and in neighboring villages that came under attack by the Turkish-backed forces.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkey-backed Syrian fighters have prevented a medical convoy from reaching Ras al-Ayn since Friday. When the Islamic State's power was at its peak, Akbas said, Americans endured terrorist attacks such as the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015.

The discussions will likely focus on agreeing to take control of different parts of northeastern Syria, including deploying Russian and Syrian government forces to areas on the border now controlled by the Kurds.

The Turkish president also said he would discuss the deployment of Syrian government forces in a planned safe zone in Northern Syria during talks with President Putin next week.

The SDF said Turkish strikes had killed at least 20 civilians and 14 of its fighters since the truce was announced.

Elsewhere, no fighting was heard Friday along the stretch of the border that has been the main theater of the Turkish assault, running from Ras al-Ayn about 125 kilometers (75 miles) west to the Turkish-held town of Tal Abyad.

"The Kurds always used to say. that [they] have no friends but the mountains, and I would reassure them", Petraeus said.

"I think the USA lost some credibility in the past week because of [policy] zig-zags and the letter Trump sent to Erdogan", Akyol said, referring to a letter released by the White House this week in order to show the president's tough stance with Turkey.

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