the situation in syria
October 22, 2019

Russia and Turkey agreed to extend their ceasefire in northern Syria in order to "remove" Kurdish fighters from the area.

After a six-hour-long summit on Tuesday, the two countries agreed to form a "buffer zone" between Turkey and Syria, which is allied with Russia. But first, Turkey will give America's Kurdish allies six days to leave the area before it and Russia jointly begin patrolling it, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

Turkey views the Kurds, who are American allies, as a terrorist threat, and began attacking them within hours of President Trump announcing the U.S.'s withdrawal from the area. Trump later bragged that he'd brokered a five-day ceasefire between Turkey and the fighters. That ceasefire would've expired Tuesday, but now, Turkey has said it will not attack the Kurds for another 150 hours as it forces them out of the land they've long fought to hold on to.

Russia and its ally Syria have also said they'll start "removing Kurdish militias from the border region beginning at noon Wednesday," per The Washington Post. The area will then become a neutral zone between Syria and Turkey, expanding upon a narrower strip of Turkey's border that the U.S. and the country had agreed to establish as a buffer. Kathryn Krawczyk

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