Pompeo: The ceasefire in Syria is holding despite a difficult start[/rtl]
[rtl]Release date:: 2019/10/19 8:59 • [rtl]50 [/rtl][rtl]read [/rtl]times[/rtl]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that 24 hours after the agreement to stop fighting between Turks and Kurds in northern Syria, the situation is improving.
"There is some activity today, but we have also seen some very positive activity," Pompeo told reporters after meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
While Pompeo spoke, there were sporadic clashes in northern Syria, but he said his understanding was that the 120-hour US-brokered ceasefire on Thursday began when it was announced.
This means that the 120-hour truce to allow YPG fighters to carry out a coordinated withdrawal from a 32-km strip along the border with Turkey will last until Thursday evening.
"We are hoping in the coming hours that the Turks who were part of the agreement alongside us, as well as the YPG fighters in the region, will seriously abide by the commitments they made," he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Ankara would resume its military operation next week in Syria if Kurdish fighters did not withdraw from a "safe area" Turkey is seeking to establish along its border.
Hours after Washington announced the ceasefire agreement, observers reported 14 civilians were killed in aerial and artillery shelling of Turkish troops and pro-Syrian factions in a village east of the border town of Ras al-Ain, as well as nine members of the Syrian Democratic Forces.