President Donald Trump announces opioid response grants to state authorities from the Roosevelt Room of the White House at Washington, September 4, 2019.
Erin Scott | Reuters
President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he’s lifting U.S. sanctions on Turkey imposed after the country invaded northern Syria earlier this month, calling the nation’s temporary cease-fire in the region “permanent.”
“The sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we are not happy with,” Trump said in the White House.
He explained that the short cease-fire declared on Thursday will “indeed be permanent,” however he noticed that “you will also define permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable.”
“Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand,” Trump said.
“Today’s announcement validates our course of action with Turkey that only a couple of weeks ago was scorned, and now people are saying, wow, what a great outcome, congratulations,” he added.
The president’s remarks came hours after after Russian troops advanced toward northern Syria so as to facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters in the region. The Russian troops will help patrol the border region on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian boundary, according to Russian state media.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan struck a deal on Tuesday to jointly patrol the border zone previously inhabited by the Kurds, subsequent hours of discussions between the two leaders in the Russian town of Sochi.
The Kurds, the primary fighting force from the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State, were pushed out of northern Syria by Turkish fighters after Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of troops in the zone earlier this month.
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