Kurdish YPG Forces Withdraw From Syria-Turkey Border

Group cedes border posts to local fighters

As part of the US-Turkey deal to establish a buffer zone at the border between Syria and Turkey, the Kurdish YPG has begun the process of withdrawing all of its forces from the border region, starting near Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.

Fighters and heavy arms are being pulled back from the zone, defensive earthen fortifications were demolished, and border posts were being handed to local forces that will still be operating in the area.

The US and Turkey made the deal to try to prevent Turkey from invading Kurdish-held territory across northeastern Syria. US and Turkish forces will jointly manage the border area.

All the Kurdish forces are intended to withdraw to areas between 5 and 14 km from the border. The YPG and Turkey are still at odds, and while the safe zone will temporarily prevent a confrontation, they are likely to remain hostile toward one another.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.