Turkey has agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northern Syria to let Kurdish-led forces withdraw after US Vice-President Mike Pence and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met for talks in Ankara. The US will help facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish-led troops from what Turkey terms a "safe zone" on the border, Mr Pence said, crediting Donald Trump's "strong leadership" for the agreement. It is unclear if the fighters of the Kurdish YPG will fully comply, however. UK-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said clashes were continuing in Ras al-Ain. Sinan Ulgen, the head of the EDAM think tank in Istanbul, explains what happens now. (Photo: Turkish-backed Syrian fighters in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad. Credit: Bakr Alkasem/AFP)
Turkey offensive in Syria
Turkey has agreed to a ceasefire in northern Syria to let Kurdish-led forces withdraw. Before that announcement on Thursday, thousands of people were forced to leave their homes along the border to escape the fighting. Sevinaz is a young woman from a city along the border called Ras al-Ain. She's one of the people who had to leave her home to escape the fighting. She fled to the city of Qamishli and told BBC OS her story. The aim of the operation was to push the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the border region. Turkey considers the SDF a terrorist organisation. The Turkish government says it wants to create a "safe zone" in the area, where it can resettle Syrian refugees who are currently in Turkey. Many of those refugees are not Kurds and critics warn that this could lead to ethnic cleansing of the local Kurdish population. (Photo: Sevinaz in Qamishli. Credit: Sevinaz)
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be meeting the US Vice President Mike Pence and the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara later on Thursday. It follows a speech by Mr Erdogan to the Turkish parliament, where he said that no power could stop the offensive against Kurds in Syria until Turkey's goals had been achieved. Mr Pence has warned that the US sanctions against Turkey would be escalated "unless and until Turkey embraces an immediate ceasefire". So what's it like living through the offensive on the ground? BBC Newsday's Lawrence Pollard spoke to freelance journalist and filmmaker Benedetta Argentieri, who is there. (Photo: Displaced people, fleeing from the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain along the border with Turkey Credit: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images)
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