Syria regime forces enter Kobane under deal with Kurds: Monitor

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Syrian government forces gather at Tabqa air base in the northern Raqqa region on Wednesday. — AFP

BEIRUT — Syrian regime troops and Russian soldiers on Wednesday entered the key border town of Kobane, following a deal struck with Kurdish authorities amid a deadly Turkish offensive, a war monitor said.

"Syrian regime and Russian troops have entered the town of Kobane," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Kobane is a highly symbolic town for Syria's Kurds, whose forces had in 2015 wrested the town from Daesh (the so-called IS) control in an epic battle backed by the US-led coalition.

Since then, Kobane has been under the control of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the spearhead of the US-backed force that went on to crush Daesh in Syria.

In a stunning turn of events, Washington announced a troop withdrawal from northern Syria earlier this month.

The pullout prompted Turkey to launch on Oct. 9 a deadly cross-border offensive targeting Kurdish forces.

In a desperate bid to defend themselves, Syrian Kurd authorities struck a deal with President Bashar Assad's regime allowing government forces to deploy in Kurdish-held territory.

Russian forces, allied to Assad, have also stepped in, patrolling areas to prevent clashes between Turkish-backed forces and the regime. — AFP


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