October 18, 2019 / 4:06 PM / 2 months ago

Trump says Turkey's Erdogan wants Syria agreement to work

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts during a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he had spoken with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who told him there had been some “minor” sniper and mortar fire in northeastern Syria despite a ceasefire, but that it had been quickly eliminated.

A five-day pause in Turkey’s offensive was announced on Thursday ostensibly to give U.S.-allied Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia time to withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.

“He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated. He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work,” Trump said in a post on Twitter. “Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen.”

“The U.S. has secured the Oil,” Trump said, appearing to be referring to oil fields in eastern Syria that actually have been under the control of the SDF.

Trump also said he had been notified that some European nations were willing to take Islamic State fighters captured in Syria who are their nationals.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool

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