A pause in the fighting between NATO member Turkey and Kurdish forces in northern Syria has been welcomed by the US.
Washington has described the lull as “a loose agreement” which it hopes will turn into something more permanent.
Josh Earnest, White House Spokesperson:
“Our priority here needs to be on fighting ISIL. That’s why we describe it as the counter ISIL coalition, that’s why these forces have signed up to work closely with the United States and other coalition members because they’re concerned about the impact that ISIL”.
But Turkey is unlikely to hold off for long as it intends to stop Kurdish forces which it views as terrorists from seizing territory and is insisting that they, retreat east across the Euphrates river.
During a Victory Day rally Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would continue to fight all terrorist groups.
“It is inevitable that the flames that are burning us today would be burning others tomorrow. We have always carried out our fight against all terrorist organisations within the law and we will continue to do so.”
Last Wednesday Turkish forces and allied factions of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) pushed ISIL out of the Syrian border city of Jarablus. But since then they have pounded neighbouring villages held by the Kurdish-led, Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) who the US views as an effective force against ISIL.