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International News

Oct 17, 2019

Trump sends Pence, Pompeo to Turkey to demand ceasefire in Syria

File Pic: PTI
US President Donald Trump has sent his deputy Mike Pence and the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to Turkey to demand a ceasefire in Syria. The move comes a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out negotiations with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, triggering further the greatest crisis in decades in relations between the NATO allies.
The talks are likely to take place in Ankara today. Vice President Mike Pence's office said the US would pursue punishing economic sanctions unless there was an immediate ceasefire.

Yesterday, Erdogan rebuffed international pressure for a ceasefire and vowed to continue with the Operation Peace Spring which Turkey launched after the withdrawal of US troops. 

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Kurdish forces struck a desperate deal with Damascus yesterday and stepped aside to allow Syrian regime troops and allied Russian soldiers enter the border town of Kobane. It is a highly symbolic town for Syria's Kurds whose forces had in 2015 wrested it from the Islamic State, IS, in a battle backed by the US-led coalition.

Facing a barrage of criticism in Washington for abandoning the Kurds, Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on three Turkish ministers and raised tariffs on its steel industry. He again dismissed the idea that pulling out US troops had been a betrayal of Kurdish militants who bore the brunt of the fight against IS in recent years.

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