Ankara has confirmed statements made by US Vice President Mike Pence, saying the two countries agreed to a 5-day ceasefire in northeast Syria and a hold to additional US sanctions against Turkey.
"Today the United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria. Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours,” Pence told reporters in Ankara on Thursday.
Cavusoglu said Ankara agreed to 'pause' military operations to allow YPG to withdraw its fighters and weapons from a safe zone
A meeting between Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took place on Thursday afternoon, which was said to have lasted four hours.
Delegations also got to work after the meeting, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hashing out the details for a 5-day suspension of military operations in northeast Syria.
Cavusoglu said Ankara agreed to “pause” military operations to allow YPG to withdraw their fighters and weapons from a safe zone. The retreat was said to go as far as 32 kilometres to the south, essentially confirming what Turkey had requested earlier according to foreign correspondents.
But the Turkish minister also clarified the pause was not a ceasefire, saying a cease fire would have to be agreed between the two sides involved.
In return, US will not impose additional sanctions on Turkey, while the implementation of the agreement is to take place as long as Kurdish YPG fighters adhere to withdrawal terms.