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Turkish troops launched offensive against Kurdish forces two days after Donald Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing the US from northern Syria.

US Vice President Mike Pence has announced that the US and Turkey have agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northern Syria.

The ceasefire will allow for a Kurdish withdrawal from a security zone roughly 20 miles south of the Turkish border.

After more than four hours of negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Pence said the purpose of his high-level mission was to end the bloodshed caused by Turkey’s invasion of Syria, and remained silent on whether the agreement amounted to another abandonment of the US’s former Kurdish allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched their offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria a week ago, two days after president Donald Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing the US from the area.

Pence and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo lauded the deal as a significant achievement, and Trump tweeted that it was “a great day for civilisation”. Read more

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