Trump Announces 'Permanent' Ceasefire in Syria

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 11:47 AM
Trump Announces 'Permanent' Ceasefire in Syria

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump provided an update on the situation in Syria from the White House on Wednesday. Turkish forces invaded northern Syria after Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region a few weeks ago and several ISIS supporters were reported to have escaped from a Syrian camp. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo managed to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week and agreed to a temporary ceasefire. On Wednesday, Trump said the two sides have agreed to a lasting ceasefire. As a result, he'll lift the economic sanctions on Turkey that he enacted a couple of weeks ago.

Turkey told the U.S. that it will be stopping combat in the region, Trump said at the White House. The ceasefire, he added, will be “permanent.” A small number of U.S. troops will remain in the area to protect the oil.

The U.S.'s actions, Trump added, will provide a peaceful area between Turkey and Syria, including a 20-mile wide safe zone. As for ISIS fighters who escaped, Trump said they have been largely "recaptured."

"Let someone else fight over this blood stained sand," the president added.

U.S. troops will only be deployed, he said, when "a vital national interest is at stake."

Russia and Turkey reached their own agreement on Tuesday, calling for the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish forces from the Turkish border and joint military patrols of the area.

Before his White House remarks, Trump wrote on Twitter that the agreements had been successful.

Both Democrats and Republicans blasted Trump's decision to take troops out of Syria, because it was viewed as abandoning our Kurdish allies.

"We have left them to the wolves," Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said on "Face the Nation." "The message this is sending to our allies around the world I think is really going to be bad."

Should Turkey fail to honor their end of the agreement, Trump said he reserves the right to reimpose sanctions.