White House reaches ceasefire agreement with Turkey while lawmakers on Capitol Hill weigh sanctions bill

Washington-DC

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, as they depart en route to Turkey. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The US and Turkey have a deal.

On Thursday the two countries worked out a ceasefire agreement.

That included an immediate 120-hour military pause while Kurdish forces move to a safe zone.

Then a permanent ceasefire to follow.

Before this news broke, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were calling for strict sanctions against the country for invading northeastern Syria.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “what Turkey did in Syria is unacceptable.”

Graham introduced a bill to apply new sanctions on key Turkish officials, banks, and military transactions.

Defense Secretary Esper was on Capitol Hill briefing senators on what’s happened in the 11 days since President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

After the briefing, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) expressed horror at the situation.

Blumenthal said, “deep disappointment in the abdication of leadership.”

Despite news of the ceasefire, Maryland Senator Chirs Van Hollen (D-MD), who introduced the bill with Graham, said he stands ready to move full steam ahead on their call for sanctions.

“We’re doing what we can to let the world know that we think America does have an important role and that we are not an unreliable partner and we will not give up in the fight against ISIS.”

After the ceasefire was reached, Graham said he spoke with President Trump.

Graham said he stands ready to work with the President and Congress to ensure the invasion into Syria ends.

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