Trump insists Turkish leader wants ceasefire

Source: The Hill | October 18, 2019 | Brett Samuels

President Trump on Friday spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a temporary ceasefire in northern Syria teetered amid report of Turkish mortar fire.

Trump tweeted that Erdoğan attributed the break in the ceasefire to “minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated.”

“He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen,” he added.

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It’s unclear what Trump was referring to by “the ultimate solution,” but critics of the deal the U.S. brokered with Turkey have noted that Kurdish fighters are being forced to vacate land in northern Syria over the next few days or face additional bloodshed, and that the Trump administration did not appear to extract any significant concessions from Turkey.

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But within hours of the announcement, there were reports of continuing fighting in the border region of Syria.

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Trump has touted the deal as a success for all parties involved, however, and credited his own “unconventional” thinking with getting the agreement done.

“Too bad there wasn’t this thinking years ago,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success.”

“The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey,” he continued. “I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them.”

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