Thanks Clark for the tip and comment. I shall try my best. This post attempts to show a rough timeline for the fast moving events. Apologies for the many links from the Guardian but this is just to establish the timeline and not endorse their point of view or comments.
Developing events in north Syria
Since the declarations of Trump to withdraw US troops from North Syria in coordination with Turkey to allow them to take over a safe buffer zone on the whole length of the Turkish Syrian borders and to supposedly facilitate the return of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey to this safe zone, many maneuvers and counter maneuvers have been carried out by both sides. It is difficult to know whether this policy was truly off the hoof or whether it had been carefully planned between at least Turkey and US beforehand and then made to appear off the hoof. The overall policy appears to have been designed to remove the Kurds who have been partly instrumental in defeating Da’esh in that part of Syria with the help of the US from the border area with Turkey, as Turkey perceived this, and an independent Rojava, as a future threat. In addition, the YPG, essentially allied to the PKK which is classified as a terrorist organization by US and Turkey and EU, have been whitewashed and relabeled as the SDF to be utilized for this task of getting rid of Da’esh.
22 August 2019
Turkey and US agree joint Safe Zone on Northern Syria
Erdogan reveals, in speech to UNGA, ‘Safe Zone’ Plan to rehome up to 3 million Syrian refuges from Turkey to Syria.
7th October: Trump announces withdrawal of US forces from Northern Syria, giving green light for Turkey to start occupying northern Syria
9th October: Turkish offensive begins with shelling and aerial bombing on Ras al Ayn
Agreement between SG and YPG/SDF that Syrian troops will protect key cities and border posts and YPG retreat from these areas, brokered by Russia.
17th October. 5 day ceasefire deal between Turkey and US to allow YPG withdrawal from ‘Safe zone’
22nd October 2019
Meeting between Putin and Erdogan in Sochi in which it is agreed that the situation on the ground will be frozen with current Turkish occupation in Ras al Ayn and…, whilst Russia will police rest of the borders between Turkey and Northern Syria elsewhere. Syrian forces also to occupy some towns and border areas. Turkish offensive officially halted.