A car burns following a car bomb explosion in Tal Abyad, a city in northern Syria near the Turkey border, on Saturday, November 23.
Zein Al Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

In photos: The conflict in northern Syria

Updated 0545 GMT (1345 HKT) November 28, 2019

A car burns following a car bomb explosion in Tal Abyad, a city in northern Syria near the Turkey border, on Saturday, November 23.
Zein Al Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey launched a military offensive in northeastern Syria on October 9, just days after the Trump administration announced that it was pulling US troops back from the area.

The offensive was aimed at pushing Kurdish forces away from Turkey's border with Syria.

The Kurds have long been considered one of Washington's most reliable partners in Syria and in the broader campaign against the ISIS terrorist group. The Kurdish People's Protection Units, which lead the Syrian Democratic Forces, are considered by Turkey to be a terrorist organization affiliated with the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party.

The Syrian Democratic Forces suspended their counter-ISIS operations to deal with the Turkish offensive. They also struck a deal with the Syrian government, marking a major shift in their country's eight-year war.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced October 17 that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had agreed to a ceasefire halting Turkey's incursion into northern Syria. The Turkish government insisted the agreement was not a ceasefire, but only a "pause" on operations in the region.

Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a deal October 22 under which Russian military police and Syrian border guards entered the Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkish border.

On October 25, Defense Secretary Mark Esper the United States would have forces in eastern Syria to prevent ISIS from taking control of oil facilities there.