Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday in Ankara, Turkey, that the U.S. and Turkey had agreed to an immediate cease-fire in Syria that would allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from the border.
Pence added that the cease-fire meant that the U.S. would not place further economic sanctions on Turkey, and that it would remove existing sanctions once the cease-fire was implemented.
President Trump, hailing the agreement in advance, called it “great news” and said “millions of lives” would be saved:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
Under the terms of the agreement, Turkey would allow the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to withdraw from a “safe zone” near the Turkey-Syria border, thus removing one of the main causes for which Turkey had invaded northern Syria last week.
Pence thanked those around the world who had prayed for peace in the region. He also praised the “candor and frankness that President Trump applied to this” (a candor that Trump’s critics had often mocked throughout).
He reiterated that the agreement provided for “withdrawal of YPG from the affected areas in the safe zone, and once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent cease-fire, and the U.S. has agreed to work with Turkey, and to work with nations around the world, to ensure that there is peace and stability.”
This story is developing.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.