Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar warned on Saturday that Ankara is ready to resume its offensive against the Kurdish forces in Syria if the recent ceasefire is not implemented. Earlier on Thursday, after nearly a five-hour meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a US delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence, Ankara and Washington announced that they had reached an agreement to halt the Turkish offensive until the Kurdish fighters withdraw from a “safe zone” within 120 hours. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed that Ankara “cannot forget” his US counterpart Donald Trump’s letter about the Turkish incursion into Syria. In his letter to Erdogan, Trump, among other things, warned the Turkish president not to be a “tough guy.” Without giving further details, Erdogan told reporters on Friday that Ankara would “do what’s necessary when the time comes.”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani on Friday to discuss the recent security and political conditions in Iraq and Syria. Le Drian conveyed the greetings of French President Emmanuel Macron to Barzani. Both sides highlighted the recent developments in the region, especially regarding Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria. Barzani extended his thanks and appreciation for France’s continued support for the cause of the people of Kurdistan throughout the years
Thousands of Lebanese demonstrated in a number of cities to protest against taxes the government announced it would impose next year. Lebanese authorities announced the closure of schools, universities and work in banks as protests continued in several cities since Thursday evening. The Lebanese cabinet canceled a session that was scheduled at the presidential palace. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to send a message to the Lebanese people. Protesters burned tires and blocked some roads across the country, and security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters.