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Turkey-Syria cease-fire: Senior US military source ‘highly skeptical’ of deal

A very senior U.S. military source who spent years designing the U.S. anti-ISIS technique with each the Kurds and the Turks instructed InternetNews on Thursday expressed skepticism concerning the Turkey-Syria cease-fire introduced earlier by Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The deal was introduced after Pence and Pompeo met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, and it requires a 120-hour cease-fire. The military offensive launched by Turkey into northeastern Syria final week, often known as Operation Peace Spring, will pause throughout that point so Kurdish-led forces can pull again from the 20-mile-wide protected zone on the Turkish-Syrian border. The U.S. and Turkey agreed that the military operation will finish totally upon completion of the Kurdish withdrawal, in response to the deal.

“There is no way the Kurds can leave that security zone,” the military source told InternetNews. “There are thousands of Kurds who live in what the Turks want as a buffer zone. That’s where these fighters’ families live. That is where they are from.”

In different phrases, 1000’s of Kurdish civilians dwell within the so-called buffer zone, in response to the source.

Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the Syrian Kurdish military chief who serves as commander of the SDF, introduced that he would settle for.

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Turkish officers mentioned they “got what we wanted” out of the assembly with the U.S., however fell brief of calling the settlement a cease-fire.

“We got what we wanted. This is not a cease-fire. We only halt our operations,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu instructed the Middle East Eye (MEE) information outlet.

The joint settlement made for northeast Syria on Thursday didn’t explicitly use the time period “cease-fire.” Rather, underneath its measured phrases, “the Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours,” and “Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.”

The senior U.S. military source additionally pointed on the market are 4 or 5 Islamic State detention services within the buffer zone, asking, “What happens to those?”

When requested if the cease-fire will maintain, the source responded: “I don’t believe it.”

“I don’t know that [Mazloum] would agree to this — his goal is autonomy for the Kurds. Mazloum has already turned to Russia and [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] now that the U.S. has indicated it will not help the Kurds,” in response to the senior military source.

Also of word is that Pence repeatedly referred to the Kurdish fighters — whom the U.S. military rebranded because the SDF to battle ISIS — because the YPG, which is the moniker that the Turks use to explain these Kurds. While it’s true that the SDF is only a rebranded YPG, that Pence reference might be seen as a concession to Turkey, which was all the time angered that the United States had teamed up with the Kurds to battle ISIS.

According to this military source, calling the SDF fighters YPG now mainly says “what we are now saying to those individuals who fought with us [against ISIS is] you have no status.”

Pence mentioned the U.S. “received assurances from the YPG that they will agree to the cease-fire,” and that forces have already begun withdrawing from the Safe Zone.

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The query this source had is, what message are the Russians sending to Erdogan?

“Erdogan meets in five days (120 hours) with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin in Sochi. He met with the Russian envoy to Syria today before meeting the U.S. delegation,” the source mentioned. “What deal is NATO ally Turkey cutting with Russia? No one knows.”

“This is no great diplomatic coup,” the senior U.S. military official mentioned moments after the Ankara press convention.

President Trump mentioned it was “a great day for civilization” because the U.S. and Turkey struck an settlement.

“I am proud of the United States for sticking by me in following a necessary, but somewhat unconventional, path. People have been trying to make this ‘Dea’ for many years,” the president mentioned. “Millions of lives will be saved. Congratulations to ALL!”

InternetNews’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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