Turkey Suspends its Syria Offensive to Allow Kurdish Withdrawal

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Vice President of the United States Mike Pence said on Thursday that Washington and Ankara have agreed to a ceasefire in the Turkish assault in northeast Syria.

The announcement came after talks between Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish capital.

The ceasefire grants the Kurdish-led forces who were Washington’s main Syrian ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant five days to withdraw from the so-called “safe-zone” Ankara would like to establish inside Syria.

It is unclear if the fighters of the Kurdish YPG will fully comply with these terms, however.

Commander Mazloum Kobani said Kurdish-led forces would observe the agreement in the area between the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad, where fighting has been fierce.

“We have not discussed the fate of other areas,” Kobani said.

The UK-based war monitoring organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that clashes were continuing in Ras al-Ain despite the ceasefire announcement.

SOHR said that 72 civilians had been killed inside Syria and more than 300,000 displaced over the past eight days.