Trump lifts US sanctions on Turkey


US President Donald Trump has officially removed economic sanctions imposed on Turkey, after Ankara informed Washington that it is stopping combat operations and making a ceasefire in northern Syria permanent.

Trump announced that Washington and its allied Kurdish groups have officially ceded control of northern Syria to Turkey and Russia, defending his decision earlier this month to pull forces from the region.

In a special address from the White House, Trump said: “the sanctions will be lifted unless something happens that we are not happy with.”

In a tweet from a spokesman on Wednesday, Mazloum Abdi, the commanding general of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) thanked Trump for his tireless efforts.

Earlier this month, Trump halted negotiations on a $100bn trade deal with Turkey, raised steel tariffs back up to 50 percent, and imposed sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and Turkey’s defence and energy ministries.

On October 6, the US withdrew its forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region. Following the withdrawal, Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in the region.

Last week, Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire to allow Kurdish forces to withdraw after meetings between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence.


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