By Janet Ekstract
İSTANBUL – After Turkey agreed to a pact with Russia on its Operation Peace Spring, committing not to extend its operation beyond the designated ‘safe zone’ – President Donald Trump announced plans to lift the sanctions the Trump administration had placed on Turkey soon after they began Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria.
On Wednesday, Trump said; “The sanctions will be lifted – unless something happens that we’re not happy with.
The U.S. president made the statement from the White House at a press briefing. Sanctions took effect October 14 in response to Turkey’s operation in northeastern Syria to create a safe zone along the Turkish -Syrian border by the Euphrates River and to eliminate terrorists especially the YPG/PKK who Turkey views as militant terrorists who Turkey sees as threatening it’s borders.
Though Trump has repeatedly said that the U.S. shouldn’t be policing other countries – he did say that a small group of U.S. forces will remain to guard oil fields in northern Syria and he commented: “We’ll decide what we’re doing with it in the future.”
Meanwhile, a number of top officials at the White House feel Trump’s move to withdraw U.S. troops is a death knoll to U.S. influence in the region.
U.S. Central Command Chief Kenneth Mckenzie addressing a conference in Washington, said: “China and Russia are working very hard today to reshuffle the balance of power in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, trying to displace the U.S. from its position of influence in the region.”
On Tuesday, Senator Lindsey Graham who is usually a vociferous Trump ally, voiced his concerns by calling the pact between Turkey and Russia “a non-starter.” Graham claimed: “That’s not a sustainable solution”