President Trump’s latest foreign policy decision has drawn the ire of American politician from all walks of life and both sides of the aisle.
The sudden announcement that American troops would be removed from Northern Syria sparked outrage on Capitol Hill, with many lawmakers equating the military maneuver to an abandonment of the Kurdish people who bravely fought beside American troops in the war against terror. Some estimates claim that as many as 10,000 Kurdish fighters perished in the noble campaign.
Now, just days after the President’s announcement, and hours after a vote to condemn the Commander in Chief’s actions easily passed in the House of Representatives, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have an announcement of their own.
Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that the United States reached a cease-fire agreement with Turkey to suspend its military operation in Syria to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone.
Pence said that Turkey will suspend its military operations for five days to allow the Kurdish forces to leave the zone, and that U.S. forces will aid in the retreat.
The agreement comes amid growing global concern over Turkey’s military incursion in Syria after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces to withdraw from the country, leaving the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG — a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group — without support.
“I’m grateful for the president’s leadership. I’m grateful for the more than five hours of negotiations with President [Recep] Erdogan,” Pence said, adding that the parties “arrived at a solution that we believe will save lives.”
The Turkish government refused to categorize the agreement as a “ceasefire”, preferring to call the deescalation a “pause”.
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The reason for the disagreement was purely a semantical one, with Turkey refusing to recognize the Kurds as a legitimate fighting force capable of engaging in such dealmaking, instead continuing to describe them as “terrorists”.
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