Russia, Turkey will take joint control of territory held by Kurds in Syria

Russia, Turkey will take joint control of territory held by Kurds in Syria
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Turkey and Russia will assume joint control of territory in Syria formerly held by Kurdish forces under an agreement Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' Highly irregular: Rudy, the president, and a venture in Ukraine Biden responds to North Korea: 'I wear their insults as a badge of honor' MORE reached Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

The agreement would reportedly force Kurdish forces to retreat another 20 miles from Syria’s northern border with Turkey.

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“The situation in the region is very tense — we understand that,” Putin said before the negotiations began, according to the Times.

“I would like to express the hope that the level of Russian-Turkish relations that has been attained recently will play a role in resolving all of the issues that the region has encountered and will help find answers to all questions, even very difficult ones, in the interests of Turkey, Russia, and all countries,” he added.

“With my dear friend Putin, we will discuss the current situation in northern Syria, primarily to the east of the Euphrates,” Erdoğan told reporters at the airport in Ankara shortly before departing for the meeting with Putin in Sochi, Russia.

Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria shortly President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE pulled U.S. troops from the area, sparking criticism from both the right and the left and accusations that he was betraying the Kurds, an ally in the fight against ISIS.

Last week, Vice President Pence announced a U.S.-brokered temporary cease-fire to allow Kurdish YPG fighters to withdraw from the border region, but as of Tuesday, Erdoğan claimed hundreds of fighters had yet to withdraw.

“If the promises given to us by America are not kept, we will continue our operation from where it left off, this time with a much bigger determination,” Erdoğan said Tuesday.

Putin has sought closer ties with Turkey, a NATO member, meeting with Erdoğan eight times this year thus far. In July, Turkey took delivery of a Russian antiaircraft missile system in defiance of the U.S.