October 17, 2019 | From Epoch Times
A U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo negotiated with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to agree to a five-day ceasefire in Syria, Pence said on Oct. 17.
Turkey’s week-long military incursion in northern Syria, which it called “Operation Peace Spring,” was met with tough resistance from a new alliance between local Kurdish forces and their previous enemy, the Russian-backed Syrian government.
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“The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours,” Pence told a news conference after more than four hours of talks at the presidential palace in Ankara.
“All military operations under Operation Peace Spring will be paused, and Operation Peace Spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal.”
“Great news out of Turkey,” President Donald Trump commented on Twitter, thanking Erdogan and adding that “Millions of lives will be saved!”
“This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago,” Trump said in a subsequent tweet. “There needed to be some ‘tough’ love in order to get it done. Great for everybody. Proud of all!”
The deal struck with Erdogan also provided for Turkey not to engage in military operations in the flashpoint Syrian border town of Kobani. In exchange, the United States agreed to lift sanctions recently imposed on Turkey in response to the offensive.
Trump previously urged Erdogan to negotiate with Gen. Mazlum Abdi, the leader of Syrian opposition forces led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG).
(Excerpt from Epoch Times. Article by Petr Svab.)