WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump says Turkey has informed the U.S. it will make “permanent” a five-day cease-fire in Syria. In response, he says he’s directing the lifting of economic sanctions on Turkey.
Claiming success at the U.S.-brokered effort, Trump said Wednesday, “this was an outcome created by us.” The cease-fire required Kurdish forces formerly allied with the U.S. against the Islamic State group to move out of a roughly 20-mile (32-kilometre) zone on the Turkish border.
Trump says, “We’ve saved the lives of many, many Kurds.”
Trump says nearly all U.S. troops will be leaving Syria but some will remain to safeguard oil fields in Syria. Russian forces have since begun joint patrols with Kurdish forces along the Turkish-Syrian border.
Trump says if Turkey breaches the cease-fire the sanctions could be reimposed.
President Donald Trump says he’ll make a statement from the White House later Wednesday morning on what he’s calling the “big success” along the Turkey-Syria border.
Trump tweets that he’ll discuss the cease-fire between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces. According to Trump, the Kurds are “safe,” and he says captured Islamic State fighters are “secured” in detention centres.
But since Turkey invaded northern Syria, several hundred IS fighters have escaped from prison, U.S. troops have withdrawn from the area and America has lost influence in the region.
Turkey and Russia reached an agreement Tuesday that would transform the map of northeast Syria, installing their forces along the border and filling the void left by the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops.