Vice President Mike Pence claims to have arranged a “cease-fire” between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds, but no one is on the same page.
“This is not a cease-fire, this is a pause for our operation,” said Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. However, he echoed Pence’s claims on the parameters of the agreement.
According to a joint U.S.-Turkish readout of the meeting, the two sides agreed to a “safe zone” that will be “enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces” with U.S. cooperation. Kurdish forces will withdraw from a strip along the Syrian-Turkish border, dismantling their fortifications and handing over their heavy weapons.
Gen. Mazloum “Kobani” Abdi, high commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), told Kurdish television that the SDF accepts a limited cease-fire between Ra’s al-Ayn (Serê Kaniyê) and Tel Abyad, and signalled that he will not accept a permanent Turkish presence in Syria.
Read the full story and more in The National Interest.