As the ceasefire agreement in northern Syria between Turkey and the United States to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish forces comes to an end, a meeting between President Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia is scheduled for Tuesday.
Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, 22 October 2019, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, a few hours before the ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces in northern Syria expires, reports Al Jazeera. The two men will discuss the next stage of the situation in northeastern Syria, according to the Kremlin. Since the truce on Thursday, in order to allow Kurdish-led fighters to withdraw from the border area, the situation in northern Syria has been relatively calm despite some sporadic shooting. This agreement is scheduled to expire Tuesday at 5:00 p. m. GMT and one wonders what could happen next.
Before leaving for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Erdogan said that Ankara would resume the military offensive in Syria “with more determination”, unless the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters is completed under the agreement negotiated by the United States, reports Al Jazeera. “If the promises made to our country by the United States are not kept, we will continue our operation where we left off with more determination,” he said.
Allies of the USA, enemy of Ankara
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were Washington’s main ally in the fight against the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (EIIL or ISIS). Ankara considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which form the backbone of the SDF, as a “terrorist” group linked to the Kurdish separatist movement, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), in Turkey.