Syria starts deploying forces along Turkish border - Associated Press

Syrian government forces have started deploying along the Turkish border in the northeast of the country in accordance with a deal reached by Turkey and Russia, the Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing Syrian state media.

The Syrian news agency SANA said troops were deploying between the towns of Jawadiyeh and Malkiyeh, also known as Derik, while state-run TV said Syrian border guards would be positioned at six points near to the frontier.

Turkey and Russia last month agreed a deal that allowed the Syrian government to take control of some territories in northeast Syria from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Turkey sees as a national security threat.

Turkish and Russian forces started joint patrols two weeks ago along the border in a 10-km deep strip as a part of the deal.

Turkey launched a military offensive in northern Syria on Oct. 9 against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which makes up the bulk of the SDF. Turkey says the YPG is an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984. 

Turkey’s military incursion ended after nine days as Ankara made two separate deals with the United States and Russia for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from areas along a 444 km strip of the border. 

SANA said on Thursday that 19,776 families had been displaced in the west of the northeast province of Hasakah.