Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

U.S., Turkey agree on Turkish cease-fire with Syrian Kurds

Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al Ain as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar Pence Announces Turkey Has Agreed to Syria Ceasefire
Russell Knight | 18 October, 2019, 02:12

Pence's whirlwind trip to Turkey came just a week after the start of a military operation that had hastened the withdrawal of US troops and scrambled alliances in Syria's volatile civil war.

In a press conference in the Turkish capital Ankara, Mr Pence said the two countries had agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northeastern Syria to allow for the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG forces from the area.

Some 72 civilians and more than 400 fighters from both sides have died since Turkey's invasion began. Its stark departure from the conventional language of global diplomacy left many to wonder whether it was genuine. Officials confirmed its authenticity. "Don't be a fool!"

Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Turkey this week to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to try and strike a deal.

"You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people", Trump wrote, "and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy â€" and I will".

The vice president said he spoke with President Donald Trump and says he "knows President Trump is very grateful" to Erdogan for facilitating this ceasefire.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also held an apparently explosive meeting with President Trump on the issue, which led to her and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer walking out of the room. The letter was written on the day Turkey's military operation started.

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Biden then doubled down by insisting, "I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine ". He added that's where he made the mistake. "Being the subject of Donald Trump's ire is a feather in my cap", he said.

Trump's letter shows an attempt to push back against the Turkish invasion, despite his withdrawal being the act that triggered it.

A similar account was reported by the Middle East Eye, which cited anonymous Turkish officials. Had Erdogan not agreed to a ceasefire, Trump warned that he would enact devastating sanctions on Turkey.

Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched their offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria a week ago, two days after President Donald Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing the U.S. from the area.

The deal appears to secure Turkey most of its military objectives, forcing America's one-time allies in the fight against ISIS - Kurdish forces - to cede a vast swath of territory, with one senior USA official very familiar with operations in Syria telling CNN that the deal meant the United States was "validating what Turkey did and allowing them to annex a portion of Syria and displace the Kurdish population".

"We remain there and continue to be there".

On Wednesday he also attacked the Kurds, claiming they were "no angels" and describing the Turkish PKK militant group as "worse than ISIS".

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