Oct 28 (3/3): Out of the Fire?

Turkish coverage POV of the current cease fire and safety zone arrangement.

Hurriyet Daily News: Erdoğan says will clear terrorists from Syria border if Sochi deal fails

ISTANBUL

Turkey will clear the YPG/PKK terrorists from its border area with northeast Syria if Russiadoes not fulfill its obligations under a bilateral accord clinched this week, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“If the terrorists are not cleared at the end of the 150 hours, we will take control and clean it ourselves,” he said on Oct. 26.

Speaking at a meeting of football officials in Istanbul, Erdoğan once again stressed the deadline set this week for YPG/PKK terrorists to pull back from northern Syria.

“They said ‘We cleared the YPG’ but they did not. They sent us a statement at the end of 120 hours that they cleaned the area but they could not,” Erdoğan said, accusing the U.S. of not fulfilling its commitments.

The 120 hours refer to the time span during which Turkey and the United State agreed on Oct. 17 to pause “Operation Peace Spring” to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone.

“Turkey has the power to crush the terrorist organization,” he added.

Erdoğan also urged the world’s countries to respect Turkey’s security concerns and support its safe-zone project to ensure the voluntary return of Syrian refugees.

Under the Turkish-Russian deal, the YPG has 150 hours, started at noon on Oct. 23, to withdraw from almost the entire northeastern border of Syria, from the Euphrates river to the Iraqi border.

Russia and the Syrian regime’s forces would move in to ensure that the YPG pulls back 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) from the border. The 150-hour timespan expires on Oct. 29.

After the schedule for the withdrawal concludes, joint Turkish-Russian patrols would begin along a 10-kilometer-(roughly 6 miles) wide strip of the border.

The only exception for the joint patrol will be the Qamishli town at the far-eastern end of the border.

More in there about the Russian patrols, including how they are experienced MP units from Chechnya. [Edit: I had forgotten about this… to be continued!]

The 150 hours started Oct 23 at noon so will run until Tuesday, Oct 29 at 6pm local, 12pm EST.

The Autonomous Administration seems to think that they will control the border crossing of Semalka by the tri-country border of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, and that the Syrian army will handle military responsibilities. I place the acceptability of this arrangement to Erdogan at approximately zero.

In other news, here’s a brief thread from RIC about being a regular person in the “safe zone”:

I haven’t seen anyone who feels like they know how this is going to shake out.

barbed wire Bob

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