Trump hails Syria cease-fire after he played role in crisis
President Donald Trump framed the U.S.-brokered cease-fire deal with Turkey as “a great day for civilization,” but its effect was largely to mitigate a foreign policy crisis widely seen to be of his own making.
After hours of negotiation in Ankara, the two nations on Thursday agreed to a five-day cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, but some fighting continued early Friday in a northeast Syrian border town. The Kurds were U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group but came under assault after Trump ordered U.S. troops to leave the area earlier this month.
The agreement requires the Kurds to vacate a swath of territory in Syria along the Turkish border in an arrangement that largely solidifies Turkey’s position and aims in the weeklong conflict.
Vice President Mike Pence, who reached the deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hailed the agreement as the way to end the bloodshed caused by Turkey’s invasion.
But he remained silent on whether it amounted to a second abandonment of America’s former Kurdish allies, many of whom are branded as terrorists by Ankara. The deal includes a conditional halt to American economic sanctions and no apparent long-term consequences for Turkey for its actions.