Trump insists Turkish leader wants cease-fire

President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE on Friday spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a temporary cease-fire in northern Syria teetered amid report of Turkish mortar fire. 

Trump tweeted that Erdoğan attributed the break in the cease-fire to "minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated."


"He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen," he added.

It's unclear what Trump was referring to by "the ultimate solution," but critics of the deal the U.S. brokered with Turkey have noted that Kurdish fighters are being forced to vacate land in northern Syria over the next few days or face additional bloodshed, and that the Trump administration did not appear to extract any significant concessions from Turkey.

Vice President Pence announced in Ankara on Thursday that the U.S. had reached a deal with Turkey to end the bloodshed in northern Syria.

Turkey will suspend its operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a designated safe zone along the Turkish and Syrian border, Pence said. In return, the U.S. would lift sanctions imposed this week on Turkish officials.

But within hours of the announcement, there were reports of continuing fighting in the border region of Syria.

The deal was necessitated by Trump's decision earlier this month to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria. Within days, Turkey had advanced into the area and began attacking Kurdish fighters, leading to violence and uncertainty in the region.

Trump has touted the deal as a success for all parties involved, however, and credited his own "unconventional" thinking with getting the agreement done.

"Too bad there wasn’t this thinking years ago," Trump tweeted Friday. "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."

"The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey," he continued. "I have just been notified that some European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS Fighters that came from their nations. This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them."

Trump has repeatedly complained that European nations did not accept imprisoned ISIS fighters being watched over by the U.S. and Kurdish forces.

The president said last week he was not concerned about ISIS prisoners potentially escaping, claiming they would end up in Europe.