By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted a post from his Turkish counterpart Friday, proclaiming "DEFEAT TERRORISM!" in response.
Trump reposted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's message from Thursday in which he addressed Trump, saying "many more lives will be saved when we defeat terrorism, which is humanity's arch enemy. I am confident that this joint effort will promote peace and stability in our region."
In a separate tweet Trump said he had just spoken with Erdogan, whom he said told him "there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated." Trump did not elaborate.
"He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen," he said.
Turkey and the U.S. came to an agreement Thursday to pause Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone.
Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also agreed on Turkey having 20 miles (32 miles) of safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.