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Trump lifts Turkey sanctions after deal

International

International Desk, Barta24.com | 24 October 2019, 12:17PM

Trump lifts Turkey sanctions after deal
US President Donald Trump, Photo: Collected

The United States has lifted sanctions imposed on Turkey nine days ago over its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

US President Donald Trump made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday (Oct 23). "The sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we're not happy with," he said.

He said Turkey had assured him that it would halt fighting in the region and would make the recently agreed ceasefire permanent.

The decision came after Russia agreed with Turkey to deploy troops to extend a ceasefire along the Syrian border.

Turkey's assault began after Trump's unexpected move to withdraw US troops from northern Syria earlier this month.

Turkey wants to create a 30km (20-mile) deep "safe zone" along the Syrian side of the border free of Kurdish fighters. It wants to relocate there some of the two million Syrian refugees it is currently hosting.

The US Treasury later confirmed that the sanctions, imposed on 14 October on the Turkish ministries of defense and energy, as well as three of the country's senior officials, had been lifted.

The UN says more than 176,000 people, including almost 80,000 children, have been displaced in the past two weeks in north-east Syria, which is home to some three million people.

Some 120 civilians have been killed in the battle, along with 259 Kurdish fighters, 196 Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and seven Turkish soldiers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group.