DAMASCUS: Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria left several positions along the long border with Turkey on Thursday, complying with a deal that sees Damascus, Ankara and Moscow carve up their now-defunct autonomous region.
Russian forces have started patrols along the flashpoint border, filling the vacuum left by a US troop withdrawal that effectively handed back a third of the country to the Moscow-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
US President Donald Trump has praised the agreement reached in Sochi by Turkey and Russia and rejoiced that US personnel were leaving the “long blood-stained sand” of Syria, leaving just a residual contingent behind “where they have the oil”.
The deal signed in the Black Sea resort by Syria’s two main foreign brokers gives Kurdish forces until Tuesday to withdraw to a line 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the border.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces had pulled out of some areas at the eastern end of the border on Thursday.