Turkey has agreed a ceasefire in northern Syria to allow Kurdish-led forces to withdraw, the vice president of the United States has said.
Mike Pence has announced that all military operations will pause for 120 hours and the US will facilitate an “orderly withdrawal”, the BBC reports.
The vice president has today led a US delegation pressing Turkey into a ceasefire in a 90-minute one-to-one meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The US delegation, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien, were expected to warn Mr Erdogan that he will face additional economic sanctions if he does not halt his assault on Kurdish forces.
Earlier today it was revealed by sources close to the Turkish president that he had thrown a letter from US president Donald Trump ‘in the bin ‘ on the morning of October 9 – the day Turkish forces advanced into northern Syria.
Mr Trump started the letter on a positive note by suggesting they “work out a good deal,” but then talked about crippling economic sanctions and concluded that the world “will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!”.
In response, Turkish presidential sources said: “President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin”.
Severe condemnation of Mr Trump’s failure to deter the Turkish president’s assault on the Kurds sparked bipartisan outrage in the US and calls for swift punishment for the Nato ally.
Republicans and Democrats in the House, bitterly divided over the Trump impeachment inquiry, banded together for an overwhelming 354-60 denunciation of the US troop withdrawal.
Many lawmakers expressed worry that the withdrawal may lead to revival of IS as well as Russian presence and influence in the area – in addition to the slaughter of many Kurds.
Get breaking news first on the free Manchester Evening News app – download it here for your Apple or Android device. You can also get a round-up of the biggest stories sent direct to your inbox every day with the MEN email newsletter – subscribe here . And you can follow us on Facebook here .