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Turkey and Russia announce deal to withdraw all Kurdish forces from Syrian border

Turkey and Russia announced last night they had reached a deal to avoid a return to fullscale fighting in northeast Syria, just hours before a US-brokered ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces was due to expire. 

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin emerged from marathon talks in Sochi with an agreement that would see all Kurdish forces pull back 30km from the Syrian border over the next six days. 

Russia and Turkey will then launch joint military patrols in the area to ensure the deal is being implemented. There was no immediate comment from Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the deal.

But if the agreement holds it means Turkey will not restart its military offensive, which many feared would resume as soon as an earlier ceasefire ended at 10pm on Tuesday.  

“According to this agreement, Turkey and Russia will not allow any separatist agenda on Syrian territory,” Mr Erdoğan said.

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