Turkey Agrees to Pause Military Operations in Syria

-edited

Turkey agrees to a 5-day suspension coupled with a U.S. pledge to facilitate a pullout by Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Following a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, Turkey Agrees to Pause Military Operations in Northern Syria.

Turkey agreed to suspend military operations in northern Syria for five days in return for a U.S. pledge to facilitate a pullout by Syrian Kurdish fighters, a deal President Trump hailed as “an amazing outcome,” but that some critics said mainly fulfilled Turkish goals.

Vice President Mike Pence reached the deal after five hours of talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday aimed at stopping a nine-day Turkish military incursion into Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria. The U.S. and Kurds have been allies in fighting Islamic State, but Turkey considers Kurdish forces to be terrorists.

“Today the United States and Turkey have agreed to a cease-fire in Syria,” Mr. Pence said, adding that Turkey would pause military operations for 120 hours while Kurdish forces withdraw from a “safe zone.” Once that withdrawal is complete, the cease-fire will become permanent, he said.

But the Kurds didn’t say they would withdraw from the area, hand over heavy weapons and dismantle fortification—all conditions of the agreement reached by the U.S. and Turkey.

“We have a very convoluted situation, with Russian, Syrian Army, Turkish, American, SDF and some [Islamic State] elements all floating around in a very wild way,” said James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria, who accompanied Mr. Pence. “And we’re most concerned about getting our troops out of the way, which is what DOD is doing at this point.”

Russia, the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has warned Turkey that it would accommodate only a limited incursion inside Syria. Mr. Erdogan is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian resort town of Sochi on Tuesday to discuss the Syrian issue.

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink

What good can such a deal do if it does not involve the second key player?

Is this one of those nudge nudge wink wink deals no one expects to be honored?

The Kurds would have to be crazy to hand over weapons.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (10)
No. 1-5
Sechel
Sechel

This wasn't a ceasefire. The United States sided with Turkey and forced the Kurds to evacuate the very buffer zone Turkey wanted. Turkey got everything it wanted and didn't have to lift a finger. This is analogous to France , Germany and Brittain agreeing to let Germany annex the Sudetenland and declaring it peace in our time.

thimk
thimk

@Sechel this is perhaps not a major pullout in Syria . trump evacuated a 50 person base in that area to remove them from the massive unavoidable Turkish incursion ;so that story goes.

Sechel
Sechel

ceasefire not holding or being violated

Fighting is continuing on the border between Syria and Turkey, according to witnesses, despite an announcement from the US vice-president, Mike Pence, that Ankara had agreed to a five-day ceasefire to allow the US supervision of the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the area

Herkie
Herkie

Late last night I saw this at Military.com:

US Airstrikes Destroy Ammo Left Behind in Syria

"Two U.S. fighter jets launched airstrikes Wednesday to destroy ammunition that was left behind when American forces left a cement factory south of Kobani, Syria.

The factory had served as a coordination center for the U.S.-led coalition and Kurdish forces in the fight against the Islamic State group."

The US needed time to destroy depots and check points and other assets to keep them out of the hands of ISIS and other players. The evacuation was so sudden they did not have time to take everything important, so they have to destroy it from the sky. Who knows what is really going on? All we can do is speculate at this point. The only thing we know for sure is that we know a small fraction of what is really going on.

If you want to guess about US/Turkey relations I would say Erdogan has decided Turkish strategic importance is valuable enough that he can leverage that to his benefit and he is exceptionally pissed off that Turkey has been as good as told they can never join the EU. It is as if the EU council said to them "Whites only." That Turkish customs and systems are just incompatible to be adapted to the modern EU with rule of law. (Rule of bureaucracy anyway). So he is playing one strategic player off another, and there is no shortage of stakeholders in the region to do that with. Currently he is playing Putin/Assad/Iran against the US/NATO with the Kurds and ISIS in the middle. Where will it go next? Your guess is as good as mine.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

Thank you Assad and Russia again.....though Trumpy wants to take all the credit.. again..