Pence: Turkey agrees to cease-fire
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/17/19, 03:28 pm
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for more than four hours on Thursday in Ankara, Turkey, to discuss Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria. Pence said Turkey agreed to “a pause in military operations for 120 hours” to allow the U.S.-allied Syrian Kurds to withdraw. The United States and Turkey have “mutually committed to a peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone,” Pence said.
What does the cease-fire accomplish? Turkey has long wanted the Kurds, whom it considers terrorists, to leave the “safe zone.” The deal also relieves Turkey of the sanctions President Donald Trump threatened to impose when the offensive began. The Kurdish forces were not a party to the agreement. Of the roughly 1.8 million Kurds in Syria, about half live in the buffer zone Turkey wants to create in the north. It’s unclear where the Kurds will go when they retreat from the area.
Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Stew about the geopolitical ramifications of the Turkish offensive in Syria.
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