'Really good chance for success': Trump projects optimism despite doubts about Syria cease-fire

By Quint Forgey

President Donald Trump on Friday insisted there exists “a really good chance” to halt the violence between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria, amid apparent cracks in a cease-fire his administration negotiated with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey.

“Just spoke to President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen.”

He added: “Too bad there wasn’t … this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner.”

The president’s posts come after Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced a five-day pause in the offensive by Turkey’s military, which had slaughtered U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters during its week-long incursion into northeastern Syria. The assault also resulted in the escape of hundreds of Islamic State supporters from a detention camp.

On Friday, the Kurds on Friday accused Turkish forces of violating the U.S. agreement with Erdoğan’s government, which Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brokered following hours of deliberation with officials in Ankara.

But Trump appeared optimistic that the armed conflict in the Middle East — precipitated by his decision to allow the Turkish invasion and subsequent order to evacuate the last American troops in Syria — would soon come to a swift end.

“There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success,” he tweeted. “The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey.”

The president also offered an update on his call for France, Germany and other Western powers to take over custody of ISIS militants who originated from those countries.

“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,” he tweeted. “This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them. Anyway, big progress being made!!!!”