Within about an hour of the United States Vice President Mike Pence announcing a negotiated “cease fire” in Turkey’s attack on the Kurdish people living in northeastern Syria, the Kurds flatly rejected the deal. They said that the agreement meant they would be forced to abandon the territory that has served as home to the otherwise stateless people since 2012, when Syrian forces withdrew from the region. As The Inquisitr reported, foreign policy experts also quickly blasted the deal announced by Pence as a “surrender.”
The “cease fire,” a pause in Turkish hostilities that is scheduled to last 120 hours — that is, five days — requires the Kurds to leave the region that they have named “Rojava” to establish what the agreement refers to as a “safe zone” along the Syria-Turkey border.
“The resistance of dignity bore its first fruits: No safe zone will happen in northern Syria under Turkish auspices,” said Sahinak Dibo — a member of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Council — as quoted by Newsweek. “The Turkish occupation in northern Syria has failed.”
The Syrian Democratic Council is the political arm of the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), the top Kurdish-led military group in the region. However, the SDF did not take part in the “cease fire” negotiations between Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a report by The Guardian.
According to Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst, reporting via his Twitter account, the Kurds’ rejection of the deal was “not surprising.”
The deal “achieves Turkey’s original goal of moving Kurds from the border” and largely disarms them militarily, Yingst wrote. “The ‘ceasefire’ solidifies the Kurds completely giving up the place they call home.”
“We’ve previously stated that Turkey’s proposal of entering a depth of 30 kilometers inside Syrian territories is rejected,” said senior Kurdish political figure Aldar Xelil, as quoted by The Guardian.
That distance is the equivalent of roughly 20 miles, the depth of the “safe zone” required by the agreement announced by Pence.
The agreement does not specify where the Kurds will resettle or if they will receive any aid from the United States or Turkey to establish a new homeland.
The Guardian also reported that more than an hour after Pence announced the “cease fire,” fighting continued in at least one border town where “warplanes and drones were still flying overhead and ground fighting between the SDF and Syrian rebels allied to Turkey continued.”