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'Islamic State is going to be unhappy,' Trump says as Syria ceasefire begins – Sky News, Sky.com

'Islamic State is going to be unhappy,' Trump says as Syria ceasefire begins – Sky News, Sky.com


             

Donald Trump has defended pulling US troops out of northern Syria – hours after Turkey agreed to suspend its offensive in the region for five days.

Speaking during a rally in Dallas, the US president admitted his approach had been “unconventional”, but he said that the ceasefire was achieved “without spilling a drop of American blood”.

He told the crowds: “It was unconventional what I did. I said, they’re going to have to fight a little while. Sometimes you have to let them fight a little while.”

Mr Trump later added: “Turkey’s going to be happy. The Kurds are going to be happy. ISIS is going to be unhappy.”

Turkey’s ceasefirefollowed discussions between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and America’s Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara.

It is designed to ensure that Kurdish forces can withdraw from a “safe zone” that Turkey had sought to capture.

Earlier on Twitter, Mr Trump had claimed “millions of lives will be saved “as a result of the ceasefire – and he said” tough love “was needed before it could be achieved.

He also praised Mr Erdogan, describing him as a “tough man, a strong man” who had done the right thing.

  

Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain during Turkey's military offensive

      

Image:        Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al Ain during Turkey’s military offensive      

Mr Pence said the US has “already begun to facilitate [YPG forces] safe withdrawal of the nearly 20 – mile safe zone “, and he said Turkey has agreed to engage in no military action against the community of Kobani.

The vice president added: “The US will continue to engage diplomatically, politically, and of course, with human aid and to support all of the people affected in this region.”

The Turkish assault has created a new humanitarian crisis in Syria with 200, 000 civilians fleeing the violence, and a security alert over thousands of Islamic State fighters potentially abandoned in Kurdish jails.

  

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters fire a truck mounted heavy gun near the town of Tukhar, north of Syria's northern city of Manbij, on October 14, 2019, as Turkey and it's allies continues their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. - Turkey wants to create a roughly 30-kilometre (20-mile) buffer zone along its border to keep Kurdish forces at bay and also to send back some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts. (Photo by Aref TAMMAWI / AFP) (Photo by AREF TAMMAWI/AFP vi

      

Image:        Turkish-backed Syrian fighters fire a truck mounted heavy gun near the town of Tukhar      

Mr Pence announced that Washington and Ankara would still work together to defeat IS militants, some of whom have escaped from captivity in the confusion of the offensive.

However, he also confirmed that Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the region, which precipitated Turkey’s action, would stand.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has declined to call the agreement a “ceasefire” – and said such a term can only be agreed by legitimate sides, rather than a Kurdish militia that Ankara considers to be a terrorist group.

    

        

                                      Donald Trump says the US are not the world's police                                                                                                                                                        
Turkey, Syria and Russia can play for ‘a lot of sand’                

The commander of Kurdish-led forces in Syria, Mazloum Abdi, told Kurdish TV: “We will do whatever we can for the success of the ceasefire agreement.”

But one Kurdish official, Razan Hiddo, declared that Kurdish people would refuse to live under Turkish occupation.

Kurdish groups said they felt betrayed by the unexpected US withdrawal, after they led the fight against IS with American backing.

At least 224 fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and 183 Turkish-backed rebels have died after the first eight days of fighting, the Syrian Observatory said, along with at least 72

Following the US withdrawal, the Kurds had responded by effectively switching allegiances and invited forces of the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, into towns and cities in areas they control.     

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