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Turkey Gives Syria’s Kurds 120 Hours to Withdraw in US-Brokered Deal

Turkey Gives Syria’s Kurds 120 Hours to Withdraw in US-Brokered Deal

Thursday, 17 October, 2019 - 18:30
Pence meets with Erdogan in Ankara. Reuters

US Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday he had reached a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for "a pause in military operations for 120 hours" to allow the US-allied Syrian Kurds to withdraw.

Speaking after crisis talks with Erdogan in Ankara, Pence said: “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 that under the deal “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.”

Turkey's eight-day-old offensive "will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal," he stated.

The vice president said the US and Turkey have "mutually committed to peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone."

Washington will impose no further sanctions on Turkey once there is a ceasefire in northern Syria, and will withdraw existing sanctions once the Turkish military operation is done, he said.

Turkey's military will primarily enforce the "safe zone”, according to a joint US-Turkish statement.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said no guarantees were made in the talks on the flashpoint Syrian border town of Kobani, adding Turkey's military was only "pausing" operations so that the Kurdish YPG forces could leave the zone.

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