Turkey says it will eliminate remaining Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference, a day ahead of the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the Untied Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will eliminate any Syrian Kurdish YPG militia fighters that remain in a planned “safe zone” in northeastern Syria after the expiration of a 150-hour deadline agreed upon by Ankara and Moscow, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

Russia has informed Turkey that YPG fighters have left a strip of land near the Syrian-Turkish border within a deadline set by Ankara and Moscow, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Iranian and Russian counterparts in Geneva, Cavusoglu said Turkey believes its Russian partners when it says that the YPG has left the area along its border with Syria, but that it “cannot trust terrorists”.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Sandra Maler