November 19, 2019

US, Turkey Agree to Ceasefire in Syria

ANKARA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 17: In this handout image provided by the Turkish presidency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on October 17, 2019. (Photo by Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Turkish Presidency via Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence announced on Oct. 17 that the United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in northern Syria.

Speaking to reporters, Pence said that Turkey will temporarily halt their actions in northern Syria for five days to allow the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) time to withdraw from the area. Various Kurdish militias are a part of the SDF.

After the five-day period is over, Turkey will cease their operations in northern Syria entirely, Pence said.

The day before, Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien had held negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to end Turkey’s invasion of the Kurds in northern Syria or face further sanctions. President Donald Trump had announced on Oct. 6 that the U.S. would be withdrawing forces from the area; since then, he has threatened “to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy” if they continue their actions against the Kurds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahi condemned Turkey’s invasion of the Kurds in an Oct. 10 statement.

Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people,” Netanyahu said.