Kerry Assures Ankara That Syrian Kurds Start Retreating East of Euphrates

Syrian Kurdish forces started retreating to the east from the Euphrates river, a Turkish official said citing John Kerry. ANKARA (Sputnik) — US Secretary of State John Kerry assured Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a phone talk that Syrian Kurdish forces are withdrawing to the east from the Euphrates river, a spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Thursday. “During the talk with our minister, Kerry underlined that Kurdish defense forces have started retreating to the east from the Euphrates river,” the spokesperson told RIA Novosti. Earlier on Thursday, the country’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Turkey expects Syrian Kurds to leave the western bank of the Euphrates within the next week. Jarablus © Sputnik/ Hikmet Durgun Nearly 30 Civilians Killed, 3,000 Flee Jarablus Amid Turkish Airstrikes – Kurds On Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and the US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday they reached an agreement that forces of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) must not move to the west of Euphrates river. Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated Ankara’s calls for the Syrian Kurdish forces to leave the area west of Euphrates, warning that otherwise the Turkish forces “will take the necessary measures.” The Turkish armed forces, backed by the US-led coalition aircraft, launched a campaign dubbed “Euphrates Shield” to clear Jarablus of extremist militants in the early hours of Wednesday. Syrian Kurds and Damascus accused Ankara of violating the territorial integrity of the Arab republic.

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