U.S. President Donald Trump announced on October 23 that Turkey has decided to make the ceasefire in northeast Syria permanent. Mr. Trump expectedly took credit for stabilizing the situation in the region.
“Early this morning, the government of Turkey informed my administration that they would be stopping combat and their offensive in Syria, and making the ceasefire permanent,” Trump said, according to Reuters. “However, you would also define the word permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable. We all understand that.”
The president added that he had instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to lift sanctions imposed on Turkey in response to it offensive against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeast Syria.
However, Trump warned Ankara that the Washington could re-impose the sanctions if “something happens that we are not happy with.”
Regarding U.S. military presence in northeast Syria, Trump said that all forces will withdraw but some personnel will stay and take over oil fields in the region. The president said that Washington will later decided what to do with the Syrian oil.
Trump ignored the Russian-Turkish agreement, reached a day earlier, claiming that the permanent ceasefire was a result of his work and the work of his team.
SDF commander-in-chief Mazloum Abdi released a statement thanking Trump for his effort and support for northeast Syria. The commander spoken with the U.S. president ahead of his speech.
“We thank President Trump for his tireless efforts that stopped the brutal Turkish attack and jihadist groups on our people … President Trump promised to maintain partnership with SDF and long-term support at various spheres,” Mazloum said in his statement.
Trump’s speech was clearly an attempt to take credit for stabilizing the situation in northeast Syria. The U.S. president faced a backlash from the mainstream media and many politicians in Washington over his decision to pull troops out of Syria.