Or is it simply a pause? Well, I suppose that depends who you ask. The US government is adamantly regarding the agreement made with the Turkish government as a ceasefire. The Turks are referring to it as a pause. Semantics aside, a deal has been reached between the United States and Turkey following a round of negotiations in Ankara between US Vice President Mike Pence and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turks will suspend offensive operations in Syria for 120 hours to allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from the safe zone Ankara intends to establish in northeast Syria. The extent of the ceasefire will extend along the Syria-Turkey border from Tel Abyad to Ras al-Ain. Roughly an area of 100 kilometers. How the ceasefire will affect other areas has yet to be disclosed.
Despite the news coming from Ankara, there is a lot of skepticism around the world concerning the agreement. US economic sanctions against Turkey will be halted at once. This was one of the terms of the deal. Media outlets in the United States and Europe, especially those leaning left were quick to jump on the terms of the agreement and label it a bad deal at best, a continued sellout of the Kurds at worst. There is going to be a considerable amount of scrutiny through the next five days.
The real question will be what comes after the 120 hours of ceasefire/pause end.