Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Tuesday for Russia and the United States to keep to their promises and ensure that Syrian Kurdish fighters pull out of a so-called safe zone along Syria’s northern border with Turkey.
Turkey and Russia launched joint patrols Friday in northeastern Syria, under a deal that halted a Turkish offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters who were forced to withdraw from the border area following Ankara’s incursion.
Kurdish-led fighters and Turkish-backed forces clashed sporadically Sunday in northeastern Syria amid efforts to work out a Kurdish evacuation from a besieged border town, the first pull-back under the terms of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire. Turkey said one of its soldiers was killed in the day’s violence.
The Syrian army's deployment near the Turkish border came hours after Syrian Kurdish forces previously allied with the U.S. said they had reached a deal with President Bashar Assad's government to help fend off Turkey's invasion, now in its sixth day.
Turkey pressed its assault against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria on Thursday for a second day, pounding the region with airstrikes and an artillery bombardment that raised columns of black smoke in a border town and sent panicked civilians scrambling to get out.
Turkish police captured the gunman who carried out the deadly New Year's nightclub attack in Istanbul, with officials saying Tuesday that he's an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan and confessed to the massacre.