Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced that the United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Northern Syria. The Turkish government launched military operations in the region after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the area, abandoning Kurdish allies to an invasion by Turkey.
“One week ago Turkish forces crossed into Syria. Earlier this week President Trump took decisive action to call on Turkish forces to stand down, to end the violence, to agree to negotiations,” Pence said. “Thanks to the strong leadership of President Donald Trump, and the strong relationship between President Erdogan and Turkey and the United States of America... the United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria.”
The vice president made the announcement at the American embassy in Ankara, Turkey, where he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. On Wednesday, Erdoğan said he would refuse to meet with Pence or Pompeo, and would only negotiate with Trump. “They say ‘declare a ceasefire’. We will never declare a ceasefire,” the president said. A day appears to have made a difference. According to Pence, Turkey will now pause military operations so Kurdish forces can withdraw from the safe zone for 120 hours. “All military operations under operation ‘peace spring’ will be paused,” Pence said. “Operation Peace Spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal.”