US President Donald Trump declares national emergency during speech at the White House

US President Donald Trump (Picture: PA).

Syria

Trump Lifts Sanctions On Turkey Over Syria Offensive

The US president has warned he will reimpose the sanctions if Turkey does not honour the agreement.

US President Donald Trump declares national emergency during speech at the White House

US President Donald Trump (Picture: PA).

US President Donald Trump says he will lift sanctions on Turkey over the country's offensive in northern Syria.

It comes after the NATO ally agreed to permanently stop fighting Kurdish forces in Syria.

Mr Trump announced earlier this month he would withdraw the majority of around 1,000 American troops from northern Syria, after Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told him his troops were about to invade the region.

The intention of Turkish forces was to push back the Kurdish fighters, whom they view as terrorists and a threat to their southern border with Syria.

Some saw Trump's decision as a betrayal of the Kurds, who had fought alongside US soldiers in the battle against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Others asked whether the absence would lead to an IS resurgence there.

US and Turkish military forces conduct ground patrol in north-east Syria

Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said: "We learned from President Obama's reckless retreat from Iraq that power vacuums are exploited by America's worst enemies.

"We do not want to repeat the same mistake. We must learn from history."

Mr Trump warned sanctions would be lifted as long as Turkey does not do something the US is not "happy with."

He added: "The job of our military is not to police the world."

Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Ras al Ain following an attack from Turkey 101019 CREDIT PA

On Tuesday, Turkey and Russia's leaders agreed to take control of part of the north Syrian border.

Kurdish fighters were given 150 hours to withdraw 30 kilometres from the boundary with Turkey, from midday on Wednesday.

The Kremlin warned Kurdish fighters would be "steamrolled" by Turkish forces if they do not pull back from the entire area.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also said his military would resume its offensive against the Kurds if the new arrangement is not followed through.