October 17, 2019 / 7:30 PM / a month ago

Top Kurdish politician welcomes Turkey ceasefire but says will defend against assault - Al Arabiya

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (not pictured) meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Top Kurdish politician Aldar Xelil said he welcomed a halt to fighting in northern Syria with Turkey but the group would defend itself if subjected to an assault, speaking to Al Arabiya after a ceasefire announced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Xelil said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wants to push in 32 km (20 miles) deep into Syria, which the group has previously rejected.

Reporting by Hesham Abdulkhalek; Editing by Sandra Maler

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