Withdrawal of YPG/PKK militants from Syria’s northeast completed, Russia’s defense minister says

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The deal reached between Turkey and Russia regarding Syria goes ahead of the schedule and it is in “full implementation,” Russian Defense Minister said Tuesday.

Sergey Shoigu announced “full implementation” of the Russian-Turkish memorandum at a meeting with his Armenian counterpart David Tonoyan in Yerevan.

“The withdrawal of armed units from the territory where the safe corridor is to be created has been completed ahead of schedule. Both Syrian border guards and our military police went there,” Shoigu said.

He also praised the experience that Russian military gained in Syria, especially on mine lifting.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which PKK-linked People’s Protection Units (YPG) terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

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