Erdogan urges USA to ensure withdrawal of YPG/PKK

Erdogan used tough language in a televised speech on October 19 to say what Kurdish forces in northern Syria could expect if they did not withdraw as agreed with the United States.

Kurdish fighters evacuated a besieged Syrian town on Sunday, the first pullback under the US -brokered ceasefire deal, opening the way to a broader withdrawal of the Kurdish-led forces from along the Turkish border.

SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said in a statement that the Kurdish-led group had no fighters left in Ras al-Ain following Sunday's evacuation.

An official from the Syrian Democratic Forces said Sunday they have evacuated from the northeastern border area in order to comply with the US ceasefire agreement.

This is the first time Kurdish fighters have publicly stated they will withdraw from the border to coordinate with US efforts.

Ankara launched a cross-border attack against Syria's Kurds on October 9 after the United States announced a military pullout from the war-torn country's north.

On Sunday, an AFP correspondent saw more than 70 USA armoured vehicles escorted by helicopters drive past the northern Syrian town of Tal Tamr carrying military equipment.

A senior official in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Redur Khalil, said that after the Ras al-Ayn evacuation, the forces will withdraw from a zone about 120 kilometres wide and 30-kilometres deep between Ras al-Ayn and the town of Tel Abyad farther west.

The city is the latest Kurdish-held area that has been captured by the Turkish forces since the beginning of the Turkish assault in northern Syria 11 days ago, state news agency SANA said.

Turkish presidency spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara abided by the agreement and urged the USA to use its leverage to ensure Syrian Kurdish forces' pullout.

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The army returned fire in self-defence, it added.

The offensive has killed dozens of civilians, mainly on the Kurdish side, and prompted hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in the latest humanitarian crisis of Syria´s eight-year civil war.

"Despite all the hostile acts in violation of the agreement, a convoy of 39 vehicles, mostly ambulances, safely entered and exited Ras al-Ain on Saturday" to help evacuate the wounded, the ministry said.

"We believe we can reach an agreement with them to work together in the future, just like we have before", Cavusoglu said.

The operation aims to protect Syria's territorial integrity and save the people of the region from the grip of terror, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said at the start of military action in Syria's Ras al Ayn.

Turkey also plans to resettle up to two million Syrian refugees, now on its territory, in the buffer zone but critics warned the move could trigger the ethnic cleansing of the local Kurdish population.

Khalil said the Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation did not want to deploy more extensively in the area, apparently to avoid frictions with Turkey.

"We noticed there was no desire (from the Russians and Syria) to have the Syrian military on the dividing line between us and the Turks except in Kobani", he said.

That has raised fears of a resurgence by the extremists, whom the SDF expelled from their last scrap of territory in March but who continue to claim deadly attacks in Kurdish-held areas.

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