Pence announces Syria ceasefire deal with Turkey

Source: Politico | October 17, 2019 | Jake Sherman

Trump dispatched his deputy and his top diplomat to persuade Erdogan to reverse his assault on northeastern Syria.

ANKARA, Turkey — President Donald Trump placed a dangerous bet this week: He sent his vice president and secretary of state — the two most public-facing figures in American government — here to the Turkish capital to try to cinch a ceasefire in a war that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started, and said he has shown no interest in ending.

Many administration officials were concerned Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would leave this city empty-handed.

But, this time, at least in the immediate, Trump got what he wanted: a five-day pause in violence in Syria. And, most notably, the United States agreed to back off on new and withdraw previously instituted sanctions on Turkey.

“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 the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Ankara, referring to the name the Turkish government has used to describe its incursion. “All military operations under Operation Peace Spring will be paused and Operation Peace Spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal. Our administration has already been in contact with Syrian defense forces and we’ve already begun to facilitate their safe withdrawal from the nearly 20-mile-wide safe zone area south of the Turkish border in Syria.”

The agreement came after more than four hours of talks between Erdogan, Pence, Pompeo and other high-ranking U.S. officials. Ninety minutes of the negotiations were between Pence and Erdogan alone.

Speaking in Texas ahead of a political rally, President Trump hailed the deal as “an amazing outcome” that saved “millions and millions of lives.”

“This is a situation where everybody is happy,” he said. “The Kurds are very happy. Turkey is very happy. The United States is very happy. And, you know what? Civilization is very happy. It’s a great thing for civilization.”

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     ConservativeGranny #32629

    This is being spun as a victory for Trump so he can look like a big hero when the complete opposite is true. The truth is we lost the war. We surrendered and stabbed our friends in the back. Funny how they are claiming that Trump’s phony letter influenced Turkey’s president. Waiting for Erdogan to say he never received any letter from Trump. I believe that letter was written for the American people. Word is copies were handed out at the meeting where he insulted Pelosi. We only have Trump’s say so that the letter was sent.

    Why send a letter when he could have just picked up the phone and called? Would have been a lot faster in a situation like this. But a phone call leaves a record. A phony letter doesn’t. It is whatever you say it is. Remember the weather map? This would be so like something Trump would do.

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    The Kurds are very happy? Somehow I doubt they are happy about anything these days, least of all this lousy so-called “agreement.”

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     ConservativeGranny #32657

    I don’t think the dead Kurds are happy. The homeless ones are probably happy to be alive. For now. They must be experiencing fear and terror. Are there photos of them partying and celebrating? Where will they bury their dead? I’m sure that Ms. Khalaf wasn’t happy while she was being horribly murdered. Is Trump going to talk about that when Erdogan comes to the WH for tea?

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