Pompeo Optimistic Cease-Fire in Syria Will Hold

Kurdish Leaders Accused Turkey of Violating Accord

AP News
October 18, 2019 - 5:53 pm

(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he's optimistic that the cease-fire between the Turkish army and Kurdish forces in northern Syria will hold in coming days, despite some breaches.

After briefing NATO envoys in Brussels, Pompeo said Friday "we're now some 24 hours into this. We're very hopeful that we will be able to implement and execute" the cease-fire.

He says "there was some activity today but we also saw some very positive activity; the beginnings of the coordination that will be required" to ensure that the cease-fire is respected.

Pompeo says he's hopeful "that both the Turks, who were part of the agreement alongside of us, as well as the YPG fighters in the region will take seriously the commitments that they made."

He says he expects to see those commitments being respected "within the next 96 hours."

Earlier on Friday, Kurdish leaders accused Turkey of violating the accord with continued fighting at a key border town while casting doubt on provisions in the U.S.-brokered deal with Ankara