Pence says Turkey, US agree to five-day ceasefire in Syria

Reuters | Published: October 18, 2019 11:11:57 | Updated: October 22, 2019 14:32:42

US Vice President Mike Pence (right) meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey on October 17, 2019 — Reuters photo

Turkey has agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northeast Syria to allow for withdrawal of Kurdish forces, US Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday after talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

“Today the United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria,” Pence told a news conference after more than four hours of talks at the presidential palace in Ankara.

Pence had flown to Turkey to call for a halt in Turkey’s cross-border military operation, called Operation Peace Spring, under which Turkey has aimed to clear YPG Syrian Kurdish fighters from a 20 mile (32 km) deep “safe zone” along the border.

“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.

“All military operations under Operation Peace Spring will be paused, and Operation Peace Spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal,” he said.

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