Turkey to suspend Syria offensive, Mike Pence announces

Daniel Fowler
October 17, 2019

From Ankara, Turkey, Vice President Mike Pence was "proud to report", thanks to the "strong leadership" of President Trump and the U.S.'s relationship with Turkey, today the US and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria. In a tweet late Wednesday, the president noted he's fulfilling a campaign promise of bringing troops home from costly and endless wars.

A total of 129 members of Mr Trump's Republican Party joined Democrats as the House denounced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria in a 354-60 vote.

US Vice-President Mike Pence has confirmed that Turkey has agreed to a cease-fire in Syria, after hours of talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In the letter dated 9 October, and sent after U.S. troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: "Don't be a tough guy". ⁦@POTUS⁩ warns him to not "be a tough guy!"

Trump said on Wednesday that he hadn't given Erdogan "a green light" to invade Syria. "It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen".

Before boarding a flight to Turkey to negotiate a Syria "ceasefire" with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Donald Trump's foreign policy is ever evolving upon new "data and facts".

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Trump has been accused of abandoning the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who drove out ISIS with U.S. support in March.

Earlier that day, he had ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria getting them out of the way of a Turkish invasion against the Kurds. "Don't be a fool", he finished, adding: "I will call you later".

Turkish presidential sources told the BBC that the letter was "thoroughly rejected" by Mr Erdogan.

Trump has been accused of abandoning Kurdish-led fighters, Washington's main partners in the battle to dismantle Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Syria, by withdrawing troops from the border as Ankara launched its offensive on October 9.

"You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people", Trump wrote, "and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy â€" and I will".

He said he had confidentially enclosed to Erdogan a copy of a letter Mazloum had sent him.

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