North east Syria

Kurdish Withdrawal From Northern Syria Complete As Turkey Declares 'Time Is Up' On Ceasefire

North east Syria

Turkey's cross-border offensive ended under a Russian-brokered ceasefire deal (Picture: US Army).

The Russian Minister of Defence has declared a complete withdrawal of Kurdish forces from "safe zones" in northern Syria, as time ran out for a conditional Turkish ceasefire deal, Russian reports claim.

Moscow had brokered the 150-hour arrangement, which secured an end to Turkish attacks on the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who Turkey considers terrorists, providing the Kurds pulled out of the area entirely.

Russia has been patrolling the border area to secure a complete withdrawal and a permanent ceasefire after Turkey's assault on northern Syria.

The Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu is quoted by Russian news agencies as saying: "The withdrawal of armed forces from the territory where a safety corridor is supposed to be created has been completed ahead of schedule."

It is widely reported Turkey intends to use the buffer zones to relocate many of the Syrian refugees it holds.

Currently, there are between three and four million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

On Tuesday, the Turkish Communications Director warned "time is up" for the Kurdish forces to have left the northern region they spent much of this month defending.

The Kurdish forces, who fought alongside the US against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, were left behind in the area after American troops were pulled out, withTurkey invading soon after.

Kurdish forces are since said to have been involved in international efforts - leading to the death of the IS leader and the alleged death of his replacement.

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