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Kurds Strike Last-Minute Deal to Avoid 'Genocide'

Newser — Neal Colgrass

This might be a last-minute, desperation deal—but now Syrian Kurds have some protection. They said Sunday the Syrian government has agreed to send army forces to the nation's northern border to try to curb Turkey's assault, the BBC reports.

Russia brokered the deal over three days between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and President Bashar al-Assad's government, a Kurdish intelligence official tells the Washington Post.

What the Kurds gave up in return is unclear, but Mazloum Abdi, leader of the SDF, described it as a necessity.

"We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them," he writes in Foreign Policy.

"But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people." Abdi expressed appreciation of America's "generous support," but said "Turkey would never attack us so long as the US government was true to its word with us. We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives." Indeed, Turkey attacked as President Trump ordered most or all US troops in the area to pull out.

(Meanwhile, hundreds of ISIS supporters escaped a Syrian holding camp Sunday amid heavy fighting.)

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This article originally appeared on Newser: Kurds Strike Last-Minute Deal to Avoid 'Genocide'