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  • Turkish forces backed by Syrian rebel groups launched an offensive on Oct. 9 into areas of northern Syria controlled by the SDF.

    Turkish forces backed by Syrian rebel groups launched an offensive on Oct. 9 into areas of northern Syria controlled by the SDF. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 October 2019

"In order to prevent and confront this aggression, an agreement has been reached with the Syrian government," the Kurdish administration said.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced Sunday that a deal with the Syrian government to defy Turkey was reached, with the deployement of Syrian troops to the northern border as a first move.

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"In order to prevent and confront this aggression [Turkey’s attacks on northern Syria], an agreement has been reached with the Syrian government... so that the Syrian army can deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to assist SDF," the Kurdish administration said in a statement on its Facebook page, according to the AFP.

Syrian state news agency SANA had also reported just before the Kurds’ announcement, that the Syrian army deployed units to "confront the Turkish aggression on Syrian territory.” 

The Kurdish leadership did not give details about the agreement reached between the two parties and did not state whether it would compromise the Kurdish self-rule as Damascus does not accept it and wants its government institutions to be reestablished in the Kurdish led zones in the north of the country.

Ahmed Suleiman, a Syrian Kurdish politician told Reuters on Sunday that Syria’s government and the SDF have been holding negotiations at a Russian airbase in Syria, expressing hope for a deal that would halt a Turkish attack.

However, a source close to the Syrian government said the talks were taking place in Damascus.

The head of the SDF media office, Mustafa Bali, said he had “no comment” about Suleiman’s assertion. “We have confirmed from the start of the invasion that we will study all options that could spare our people ethnic cleansing,” he said.

Turkish forces backed by Syrian rebel groups launched an offensive on Oct. 9 into areas of northern Syria controlled by the SDF. Ankara says it is targeting Kurdish forces linked to an insurgency on its territory.

The Turkish assault started after United States President Donald Trump decided earlier this month to withdrew U.S. forces that have backed the SDF, from part of the Syrian-Turkish border. The SDF called the move a stab in the back.

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