Home / World / The United States, Turkey agrees to 5-day firearms in Syria, says Pence, to allow Kurds to withdraw after US withdrawal triggered violence

The United States, Turkey agrees to 5-day firearms in Syria, says Pence, to allow Kurds to withdraw after US withdrawal triggered violence

After their withdrawal, Turkey's military operation would be "completely stopped," Pence said.

"Great news from Turkey," President Trump wrote on Twitter, shortly before Pence's announcement. "Millions of lives will be saved!" He added.

Pence & # 39; s whirlwind trip to Turkey came just a week after the start of a military operation that had accelerated the withdrawal of US troops and confused alliances in Syria's volatile civil war. Turkey's Western allies have warned Erdogan that the fighting could lead to the revival of the militant group of the Islamic State.

The Trump administration had criticized the notion that it was abandoning its own allies: the Syrian Kurdish militias who partnered with the US military to fight the Islamic State. Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters as a serious threat due to their links with militants in Turkey.

Pence said that the Kurdish fighters would honor the US-Turkey deal. "We have repeated assurances from them that they will go out," he said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Pence's mission came a day after the White House published a letter Trump sent to Erdogan on October 9. calls on the Turkish leader to make an agreement with the Syrian Kurdish militias, which are the target of Ankara's military operation.

"You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering people," Trump wrote, concluding: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be an idiot!" The letter was written the same day Turkey's military operation began. Turkish officials told the BBC and others news sites on Thursday that Erdogan threw the letter in the trash.

"But the clearest response to the letter written on October 9 was the peace spring operation," reported CNN Turk, citing diplomatic sources and using Turkey's code name for its insult.

Erdogan had repeatedly dismissed weapons weapons appeals and chided Western allies for suggesting that he negotiate with "terrorists" as he refers to the Syrian Kurdish militia because of their links to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which has fought an uprising in Turkey for decades.

Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey "would never declare a ceasefire" and promised to continue with plans to implement a buffer zone as deep as 20 miles into Syrian territory. The territory stretched more than 280 miles from the northern city of Manbij to the Syrian border with Iraq.

Trump has faced criticism, including from his own Republican allies, amid reports of a speeding US troop withdrawal.

On Wednesday, the US military withdrew from Raqqa, the Islamic State's former de facto capital, as well as Tabqa and a headquarters at Lafarge Cement Factory in Jalabiya, Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a US military spokesman, said in a tweet .

At the cement plant, after American troops left, US forces used F-15 jet flights to carry out air strikes on parts of the headquarters to "destroy an ammunition cache and reduce the facility's military utility," Caggins wrote.

In addition to the ammunition, the strikes targeted a small association ringed with blast walls and included housing and diesel power generators, said an American military official, and spoke of the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation.

Lamothe reported from Washington.

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