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Trump announces he's lifting sanctions on Turkey following ceasefire deal

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Posted at 8:48 AM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 12:07:37-04

While giving remarks at the White House Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced his administration is lifting sanctions he imposed on Turkey after the country chose to attack the Kurds following a US retreat on the Turkish/Syrian border earlier this month.

Trump said that he would re-imposed sanctions should Turkey choose to attack the Kurds or other religious minorities in the country. He added that a small amount of US troops would remain in Syria to protect oil reserves.

Trump also said that the ISIS prisoners that had escaped following the Turkish attack on the Kurds had "largely been re-captured," but did not go into specifics. Trump did not respond to a question posed by reporters about members of the Trump administration's top envoy who made comments to the contrary.

The ceasefire on the Turkish/Syrian border comes after Trump ordered American troops be removed from the area earlier this month. Their removal prompted a Turkish attack on the Kurds, an American ally in the region. A ceasefire was struck between late last week and has largely held thus far.

Trump's comments will come one day after William Taylor, an American diplomat in Ukraine, gave a scathing opening remark in a closed-door testimony on Capitol Hill. During his testimony, Taylor claimed Trump had set a clear quid-pro-quo for his administration's policy in Ukraine, saying he was told to withhold military aide to the country unless an investigation was opened into Hunter Biden, the son of one of his chief political rivals, VIce President Jode Biden.

Trump did not take questions and did not address Taylor's statement.