By Janet Ekstract
NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – A temporary ceasefire has been agreed to with the United States and Turkey, whose top officials held talks for the last several days. Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Turkey’s President Erdogan for four hours – in the end, conceding to Erdogan’s demands.
Trump called it “a great day for civilization.”
Turkey and the US have agreed to a temporary ceasefire for a period of 120 hours while the U.S. helps Turkey remove Kurdish forces from the border. According to press reports, Kurdish Commander Kobani.has accepted the terms of the ceasefire.
The ceasefire couldn’t have come at a better time since the operation began – the United Nations reported 200-thousand people have been displaced and dozens injured or killed.
As CBS news reported Thursday, the Pentagon has given no direction as to how Kurdish forces will he removed.
Trump said President Erdogan’s decision didn’t surprise him. Both White House officials Pompeo and Pence spent hours in a mutual negotiation between the U.S. and Turkey.
However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the press the pause in Turkey’s anti-terror operation in Syria is not a ceasefire. “Turkey will end the operation in northern Syria only after YPG/PKK terrorists leave the safe zone” he added.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Pelosi along with Minority Leader Chuck Shumer said the ceasefire”was a “sham”” and said it’s a disgrace for America. David French senior writer with the National Review said it seals a defeat for the Kurds and a total victory for Erdogan
There have been reports of the violation of the ceasefire already- according to MSNBC on Thursday evening.
Turkey began Operation Peace Spring last Wednesday with the dual goal of creating a 20-mile safe zone and the elimination of terrorists especially the YPG who Turkey considers a major threat and a terrorist organization.
The Turkish president had spoken to Trump numerous times about a potential operation into northeast Syria.
Many White House officials accused Trump of giving Erdogan the ‘green light’ for his operation which went ahead after Trump agreed to move troops out of northeastern Syria.
The temporary ceasefire appears to satisfy all sides including the Kurds.
What comes next remains to be seen.