U.S. President Donald Trump ordered sanctions on two Turkish ministries and three Turkish ministers be lifted Wednesday following what he said was Turkey’s vow to halt fighting in northeast Syria.
Trump said the Turkish government informed his administration earlier Wednesday morning “that they would be stopping combat and their offensive in Syria, and making the cease-fire permanent.”
“However, you would define the word ‘permanent’ in that part of the world as somewhat questionable,” Trump said in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room. “The sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we’re not happy with. This was an outcome that was created by us, the United States.”
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a “historic” meeting Tuesday in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi just hours before the pause was set to expire.
Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which PKK/YPG terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
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