U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday pushed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a cease-fire to end his military assault against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, an offensive Erdogan initiated after President Donald Trump withdrew nearly all American troops from the battlefront.
Pence, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, met with the Turkish leader in the capital, Ankara.
The meeting came a day after Trump dismissed the importance of the outcome of the fighting, saying it "has nothing to do with us," even as the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning his troop withdrawal. Trump instead disparaged the Kurdish fighters, who had fought alongside U.S. troops against Islamic State terrorists, as "no angels."
Trump, in a letter last week to Erdogan, warned the Turkish leader, "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!" to carry out the onslaught on the Kurdish fighters, but reports from Turkey said Erdogan threw the short note "in the bin."
Trump said Erdogan risked being branded in history as a "devil" by carrying out the attack on the Kurdish fighters, whom he views as allied with Kurdish separatists that have been battling for autonomy inside Turkey for three decades.
Source : VOA