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Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire, VP Mike Pence says

Posted at 1:03 PM, Oct 17, 2019

US Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that he and President Erdogan of Turkey agreed to a ceasefire halting Turkey's incursion into northern Syria.

Speaking in Ankara, Turkey, Pence said the "Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours."

"All military operations will be paused, and Operation Peace Spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal," he said.

"This also includes an agreement by Turkey to engage in no military action against the community of Kobani," Pence continued, referring to the Kurdish-held city on the border of Syria.

"The United States and Turkey have both mutually committed to a peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone working on an international basis to ensure that peace and security defines this border region of Syria," he added.

Pence said the Turkish operation would end when the Kurdish YPG forces complete their withdrawal.

The vice president said he spoke with President Donald Trump and says he "knows President Trump is very grateful" to Erdogan for facilitating this ceasefire.

There has been no public statement from Kurdish YPG forces that they have agreed to withdraw, although Pence said he had spoken with YPG leadership.

Once a permanent ceasefire is achieved, Pence said the President would withdraw the sanctions that were placed on Turkey in the last week.

This story is breaking and will be updated.