Turkey and the United States have agreed on a 5-day pause in the fighting and the establishment of a Turkish-controlled “security zone” in northern Syria that could provide Ankara with leverage in discussions with Russia, analysts said.
The truce was announced October 17 by US Vice-President Mike Pence after five hours of talks in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was swiftly praised by US President Donald Trump, who said it would save “millions of lives.”
If implemented, the agreement would achieve the main objectives Turkey announced when it began the assault October 9: control of a “security zone” in Syria more than 30km deep and ranging from the Euphrates in the west to the Iraqi border in the east, with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a close US ally in the fight against the Islamic State, obliged to pull out. Turkey regards the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, the SDF’s backbone, as a terrorist group.
Read the full story and more in The Arab Weekly.