US president Donald Trump has announced to lifts the sanctions imposed for the Syrian offensive against Turkey. According to Trump, the Turkish government has informed United States that it will stop the offensive in northern Syria.
Trump said he also talked to the commander of the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Abdi. Abdi is “grateful” for the commitment of the United States. “We have saved the lives of many Kurds”, said Trump.
“We are grateful to President Trump for his tireless efforts” – Mazloum Abdi
Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurds have praised Donald Trump’s role in agreeing to a ceasefire in the north of the country. “We are grateful to President Trump for his tireless efforts” to halt the “brutal attack” of Turkey and “jihadist groups”, said the General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Abdi. This was announced by SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali on Twitter on Wednesday. Mazloum said that Trump had promised to stick to the partnership with the SDF with long-term support.
Erdogan and Putin agreed joint control of the northern Syrian border areas
Trump had paved the way for the Turkish offensive by withdrawing American troops from northern Syria. The operation of Turkey was directed against the Kurds of the YPG, which was an ally of the American armed forces in the fight against the IS. America’s Vice-President Mike Pence negotiated a temporary truce last week in Ankara, which provided for a YPG withdrawal from the border area.
On Tuesday evening Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed joint control of the northern Syrian border areas. They threatened the YPG with attacks if they did not withdraw their weapons from the border area. Units of the Russian military police moved to northeastern Syria on Wednesday. Turkey sees in the YPG a terrorist organization.
After the Turkish offensive, the United States government sanctioned two ministries and three ministers in Turkey last Monday and threatened to take further steps. Due to the “destabilizing actions of Turkey in Northeast Syria”, punitive tariffs on steel imports from Turkey were raised to 50 percent. Trump also announced that it was breaking off negotiations for a trade agreement with Turkey.
Over 100 members of the Islamic State have escaped from prisons
Since the beginning of the Turkish offensive in northern Syria, more than 100 members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group have escaped from prisons, according to American sources. “We would say the number is now over 100”, said US Special Representative for the anti-IS coalition, James Jeffrey, at the House of Representatives in Washington on Wednesday. “We do not know where they are”. The YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which came under considerable pressure from the attack, were in charge of guarding the IS prisoners in northern Syria.