Pence, Pompeo Secure Syria Cease-Fire Agreement After Meeting with Turkish President
The operation will come to an end upon the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal
Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced they had secured a cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Kurds, shortly after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.
The deal is for a 120-hour cease-fire, at which Kurdish-led forces could pull back in the time frame.
Turkish military operations under the recent offensive known as Operation Peace Spring will halt in Syria during that time.
The operation will come to an end upon the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal, as per terms of the deal.
Pence stated a safe zone between the two sides would be established.
During a press conference while in Turkey, Pence said:
“Turkey and the United States agree on the priority of respecting vulnerable human life, human rights, and particularly the protection of religious and ethnic communities in the region."
According to Fox News: It remains to be seen whether the Kurds will agree to the terms.
The Turkish offensive began after President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria.
Trump was heavily criticized for the move by lawmakers from both parties.
Last week, Trump sent a letter to Erdogan encouraging him to “work out a good deal,” threatening to “destroy” the Turkish economy if Erdogan continued his aggression against the Kurds.
“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump said, before stating that he would call Erdogan.
It was reported by the BBC Thursday that Erdogan “thoroughly rejected” the letter and threw it “in the bin,” but hours later, Pence announced the potential cease-fire.
Trump teased the news before the formal announcement.
"We think the agreement today first ends the violence, which is what President Trump sent us here to do," Pence said.
"We achieved that."
Pence said that the U.S. did not approve of Turkey's military operation, but under the terms of the deal will lift sanctions against Turkey upon the fulfillment of the agreement from both sides.