World

Turkey to suspend Syria offensive, Mike Pence announces

Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Vice President Mike Pence made the announcement beside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Turkey has agreed to a ceasefire in northern Syria to let Kurdish-led forces withdraw, US Vice-President Mike Pence has announced.

All military operations will be paused for five days, and the US will help facilitate an “orderly withdrawal” of Kurdish-led troops from what Turkey has termed a “safe zone” on the border.

Turkey launched its assault last week.

It aimed to repel a Kurdish militia that it views as a terrorist group, and resettle Syrian refugees in the area.

Critics fear this could lead to ethnic cleansing of the local Kurdish population.

The cross-border offensive came after US President Donald Trump pulled US forces out of the border region.

His decision prompted a raft of criticism at home and abroad, with some accusing him of giving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “green light” for the operation.

Mr Trump tweeted about the ceasefire before Mr Pence announced it, writing that “millions of lives will be saved!”

Mr Pence thanked Donald Trump’s “strong leadership” during the announcement.

“He wanted a ceasefire. He wanted to stop the violence,” the vice-president said.

Source: bbc.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *