Tags: Syria | grahamkurdscease | fire

Graham, Kurd Military Leader 'Concerned' About Fragile Cease-Fire

By    |   Friday, 18 October 2019 07:39 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Friday he shares the concerns of Syrian Kurds about the fragile cease-fire between its fighters and Turkey in northeastern Syria amid fighting that has continued there.

In a series of tweets, Graham said he spoke with Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

 “General Mazloum is concerned about the cease-fire holding and was emphatic that he will never agree to the ethnic cleansing of Kurds that is being proposed in Ankara,” Graham tweeted.

 “A buffer zone is acceptable to the Kurds but a military occupation that displaces hundreds of thousands is not a safe zone. It is ethnic cleansing.” 

“I hope we can find a win-win situation, but I share General Mazloum’s concerns.  I also told him that Congress will stay very involved and is extremely sympathetic to the plight of the Kurds,” he added.

The cease-fire hammered out by Vice President Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for Turkey suspend its operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a designated safe zone along the Turkish and Syrian border. In return, Pence said the United States would lift sanctions imposed this week on Turkish officials. 

But fighting continued in the area Friday.

President Donald Trump tweeted that Erdoğan attributed the break in the cease-fire to “minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated” and said the Turkish leader “very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen.”

Trump has promoted the deal as a success for all sides, touting his own "unconventional" thinking helping craft the agreement.

"Too bad there wasn’t this thinking years ago," Trump tweeted.  "Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Friday he shares the concerns of Syrian Kurds about the fragile cease-fire between its fighters and Turkey in northeastern Syria amid fighting that has continued there.In a series of tweets, Graham said he spoke with Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the...
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Friday, 18 October 2019 07:39 PM
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