On the heels of President Donald Trump‘s order for the U.S. troop pullout in northeastern Syria that paved the way for a brutal military assault on friendly Kurdish forces by the Turkish military, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday that the U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a temporary ceasefire in Syria.
According to Reuters, Pence met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday in an attempt to hammer out a deal to persuade Turkey to halt their military operations in Syria. The meeting between the world leaders lasted over four hours, which was beyond the expected duration.
“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 said at a news conference after the two delegations wrapped up their talks, which many experts originally predicted would lead to nowhere.
The duration of the ceasefire will last 120 hours, which will allow Kurdish soldiers to flee the area with the help of the U.S. military. The hope is to prevent future casualties on the battlefield as a result of Turkey’s military operations in the area. After time runs out on the temporary ceasefire, Pence revealed that Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire in the area, according to CNN.
“It will be a pause in military operations for 120 hours while the United States facilitates the withdrawal of YPG from the affected areas in the safe zone, and once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent cease fire, and the United States of America will work with Turkey, will work with nations around the world to ensure that peace and stability is the order of the day in this safe zone on the border between Syria and Turkey,” Pence said during the press conference, according to CNBC.
Pence claims there's a "ceasefire" in Syria. Reminder: This would not have begun without Trump withdrawing in the first place and people have already been killed, while America had to destroy its own bases. pic.twitter.com/fa8VkAsfNh
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) October 17, 2019
Pence also indicted that Trump is happy with the result of the ceasefire talks and is pleased with Erdogan’s willingness to work out a deal to end their military assault against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.
The vice president has reportedly spoken with YPG leadership about the withdrawal, but the Kurdish group hasn’t released a statement on the ceasefire as of this writing.
It was also reported that as a part of the ceasefire deal, the United States would hold back on imposing any new sanctions on the country. That promise also included lifting all sanctions Trump has imposed on Turkey since the ordeal started, as long as Turkey eventually agrees to a permanent ceasefire.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the ceasefire announcement comes a day after Trump sent a strongly-worded letter to Turkey’s president over the situation, ending it by telling him not to be a “tough guy.” Erdogan reportedly tossed the letter in the trash upon receiving it.