Turkey’s Short-Term Cease-Fire

Turkey's Short-term Cease-fire

Turkey’s relentless aggression against the Kurds in northern Syria has caused a great deal of disruption to the region. Turkey launched strikes targeting Kurdish territory mere hours after the US withdrew its forces from along the border. At this point, it seemed Turkey’s rampage was out of control.

In response, President Trump threatened to crack down hard on Turkey’s economy if it stepped out of line. He reiterated the promise earlier this week to get the country and its leaders back under control. Finally, with the aid of VP Mike Pence, Turkey has agreed to a temporary cease-fire with Kurdish forces.

Turkey Gains Territory

Although Pence spent over four hours negotiating with Turkey’s president, they came to a temporary agreement. The details of the cease-fire primarily benefit Turkey as Kurdish forces were told to pull back 20 miles away from Turkey’s border. In exchange, Turkey has agreed to halt hostilities for five days.

Some political commentators wonder if this move was another abandonment of the Kurds by the US. The Kurds ended up losing some of their territories after the previous week of bloodshed with Turkey for only a temporary peace. Kurdish forces have battled long and hard to keep ISIS fighters contained and prevent the insurgent group from reclaiming a foothold in the region.

Permanent Peace Is Still Possible

With the Kurds having to withdraw away from the border, Turkey has stated it will commit to a permanent cease-fire once the area is clear. The US is curtailing the sanctions imposed on Turkey with this agreement. However, Turkey isn’t obligated to withdraw troops from the region once the cease-fire is established.

However, even in the face of sanctions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that this fight will only end when the Kurds lay down their arms and remove themselves from the border.

An Uncertain Future

Tensions are still extremely high in the region and will remain so while Turkish and Kurdish forces stare each other down from across the border. ISIS holding camps should be more secure now that Kurds aren’t fighting a battle on all fronts. Still, the Kurds’ decision to seek aid from Russian-backed interests is extremely concerning to all parties with vested interests in northern Syria.

Turkey is falling in line at the moment, but President Trump won’t hesitate to take further action against the country should it make another wrong move.

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