Breaking: US and Turkey reach agreement to suspend military operation in Syria

20191017 124020 Vice President Pence and Secretary Pompeo were in Turkey today and were able to reach a deal.
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Vice President Pence and Secretary Pompeo were in Turkey today and were able to reach a deal.

US Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have reached a deal to suspend Ankara’s operation in northern Syria within 120 hours to allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from a designated safe zone, a Turkish official told Middle East Eye.

Following a long meeting between Turkish and American top officials on Thursday, the two sides came to an agreement amid growing opposition to the Turkish incursion in Syria.

The safe zone would be primarily enforced by the Turkish military, and the two sides will increase their cooperation to implement the deal.

Turkey will take maximum care not to harm civilians in the safe zone, the official added.

Once the military operation stops, Donald Trump will lift the sanctions he imposed on Turkey earlier this week.

The agreement also stipulates that Kurdish militants, including the People’s Protection Units (YPG), would  have their heavy weapons recollected and their fortifications and all fighting positions disabled. 

“We got exactly what we wanted out of the meeting,” a senior Turkish official told MEE.