President Donald Trump, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, announced during a White House statement that he will be lifting all sanctions against Turkey and believes that a “permanent ceasefire” between Turkey and the Kurds has been reached.
“Big success on the Turkey/Syria Border. Safe Zone created! Ceasefire has held, and combat missions have ended. Kurds are safe and have worked very nicely with us. Captured ISIS prisoners secured,” Trump said in an early-morning tweet on Wednesday before adding that he will be making a statement at 11 am at the White House.
“Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand,” Trump said in a statement at the White House. “We were supposed to be there for 30 days. That was almost 10 years ago. So we’re there for 30 days, and now we’re leaving. It’s supposed to be a very quick hit, and let’s get out and it was a quick hit except they stayed for almost 10 years.”
Despite bipartisan criticism on his decision to pull back U.S. forces from northern Syria, the Trump administration has remained steadfast in its commitment to halt the war.
According to Fox News, the ceasefire mandated formerly U.S.-allied Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group to retreat out of a safe zone of approximately 20 miles on the Turkish border. Trump said that Turkey will stop with the assault with the Kurdish military out of the zone.
Trump expressed gratitude towards the American team and acknowledged their efforts, as well as noting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s love for his country.
“I want to again thank everyone on the American team who helped achieve the cease-fire in Syria, saved so many lives. Along with president Erdogan of Turkey, a man I’ve gotten to know very well and a man who loves his country,” the president said. “And in his mind, he’s doing the right thing for his country.”
Trump noted that the majority of U.S. troops will be leaving Syria but a limited number will remain to safeguard oil fields in Syria, Fox News reports.
“We have secured the oil and, therefore, a small number of U.S. Troops will remain in the area where they have the oil,” Trump continued, before stating his instructions to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“I have, therefore, instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to lift all sanctions imposed October 14th in response to Turkey’s original offensive moves against the Kurds,” he said.
Speaking on maintaining the ceasefire that he believes to be permanent, Trump said that he hopes it will stay in place and preserve Turkey-Kurdish peace.
“I do believe it will be permanent,” the president said. “This was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else…we’ve done something very, very special.”
Trump added that the lifted sanctions could be reimposed should Turkey breach the ceasefire.
“The sanctions are lifted unless something happens that we’re not happy with,” he said.