President Trump announced Wednesday that conditions have been met between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for what he called a "permanent ceasefire" between the two sides and that the United States is lifting sanctions on Ankara that were implemented following the invasion of northern Syria.
His jets patrol Syrian skies. His military is expanding operations at the main naval base in Syria. He is forging closer ties to Turkey. He and his Syrian allies are moving into territory vacated by the United States.
As United States troops continued their withdrawal from Syria on Sunday, a line of cars carried their routed former allies, terrified civilians and dead bodies out of a pulverized border town that had been besieged by Turkish forces for more than a week.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced hope Friday that a US-brokered ceasefire will hold between Turkey and Syria's Kurds as he discussed the turbulent region with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The U.S. and Turkey agreed Thursday to a five-day cease-fire in the Turks' attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria to allow the Kurds to withdraw to roughly 20 miles away from the Turkish border.
President Trump’s decision — made in the span of a week — to withdraw about 1,000 American troops from northern Syria caught the Pentagon, and the forces on the ground, off guard.
The Trump administration called on Turkey for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria on Monday as it announced sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and sharply increased tariffs on steel in response to the military operation launched by Ankara last week.
Syrian government forces began fanning out in the northeast after striking a deal with Kurdish fighters abandoned by their U.S. allies to a Turkish military offensive -- a major shift that could see President Bashar al-Assad cement his impending victory in the country’s long war.