Pompeo says “some progress” made ceasefire in Syria set to expire

WASHINGTON, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed Tuesday that “some progress” has been made as the ceasefire deadline in northern Syria is set to expire in a few hours, saying “the success of the outcome there is not yet fully determined.” In a speech n “Trump Administration Diplomacy: The Untold Story” delivered at the Heritage Foundation President’s Club Meeting, Pompeo said “we were working, the State Department in the lead, along with our brethren at the Department of Defense to build out a safe zone in the region, to try to mediate between the two” (Turkey and Syrian Kurds).

He reiterated that President Donald Trump “warned” Turkey of conducting the military operation in northern Syria but “sadly, they conducted the incursion.” On the ceasefire deadline, Pompeo said “you’ll see here in just a few hours the 120-hour window will arrive … but some progress has certainly been made.” “The truth was that it was not in Turkey’s interest as a NATO ally to continue with that incursion. The truth was that our invasion set back our shared fight against (IS). We think now we’re in a better place,” he affirmed.

He stressed that Trump “was prepared to cause and raise costs for Turkey in the event that they continued their incursion.” He noted “so the president used America’s economic might or economic power to avoid a kinetic conflict with a NATO ally. And as President Trump Tweeted that very day, there needed to be some tough love in order to get it done.” “It is a complicated story, to be sure,” he remarked. “The success of the outcome there is not yet fully determined.” Meanwhile, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters “the president was clear when he ran for president, what he wanted to do was secure those regions, finish the missions and bring our troops home. That’s exactly what he’s trying to do.” He added “he still wants to keep forces behind to protect the oil, to ensure stability in the region, and today is the final day of the ceasefire. We expect that temporary ceasefire, that temporary de-escalation to transition into permanent by the end of the afternoon.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency