Russia and Turkey have reached an agreement on the future of the city of Tell Rifaat in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, the London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed outlet reported on June 14. The agreement is allegedly aimed at allowing the civilians to return to their houses in the northern city.
Under the agreement, units of the Turkish military will be deployed in Tell Rifaat side by side with the Russian Military Police, which was deployed there few months ago. From their side, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) will withdraw from the city.
While the agreement will facilitate the return of civilians to Tell Rifaat, Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups and fighters will not be allowed to enter the city at all, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed.
Syrian pro-government sources said that the SAA began its withdrawal from Tell Rifaat in May. Several units of the SAA were deployed in the Kurdish-held city following the Turkish attack on the nearby Afrin area earlier this year.
The agreement is a very similar to the Turkish-US agreement on the city of Manbij. Such agreements will lower the tension in northern Syria, but will also creat de facto safe zones, which may last for years to come.