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Syrian army intends to deploy on the Turkish border in agreement with the Kurds

SYRIA (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said on Sunday the Syrian army would deploy along the border with Turkey in agreement with the administration in northern Syria to help repel a Turkish attack.

It added that the army’s deployment would support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in countering “this aggression and the liberation of territory entered by the Turkish army and mercenaries”, referring to the Syrian-backed opposition forces of Turkey.

It would also allow the liberation of other Syrian cities occupied by the Turkish army, such as Afrin, it said in a statement. The Turkish military and its Syrian opposition allies expelled Kurdish fighters from Afrin in 2018.

The agreement comes after the United States’ sudden move last week to withdraw a group of troops on a section of the border, opening the way for Turkey’s incursion.

The SDF, a vital US ally in the campaign against the Islamic State, called Washington’s move a “back stab”.

The statement said an agreement had been reached with the Syrian government to stop the Turkish attack and the entry and deployment of the Syrian army along the Syrian-Turkish border.

Kurdish-led forces have controlled areas in eastern and northern Syria since the country plunged into civil war in 2011, where it set up its own administrations but has always said its goal is autonomy, not independence.

Despite mutual hostility between these Kurdish groups and Damascus, where the Baathist government systematically persecuted Syrian Kurds, SDF rarely clashed with the Syrian government during the war.

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