October 17, 2019

Cease-Fire Chaos: The Kurds, Turkey, and Trump Administration are Touting Different Strategies

Source: The National Interest

Journalist: Matthew Petti

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.


  • Nicholas Heras

    Former Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a former Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. His work focused on the analysis of complex...