Russian forces heading to Turkey border

Russian forces in Syria are heading for the border with Turkey today, to ensure Kurdish fighters pullback after a deal between Moscow and Ankara wrested control of the Kurds’ entire heartland.

Kurdish forces, who previously controlled nearly a third of Syria, have lost almost everything after Turkey secured the right to remain fully deployed in an Arab-majority area that was the main target of a two-week-old offensive.

Russian military police and Syrian border guards are to facilitate the removal of Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters and their weapons from within 30 kilometres of the Turkish-Syrian border. This is being done as per the Sochi deal between Russian and Turkish presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following talks yesterday. The withdrawal must be finalised within six days.