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Trump Optimistic That Deal to Pause Syrian Fighting Will Hold

FILE - President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2019.

As fighting eased between Turkish and Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed optimism Friday that a U.S.-Turkish deal to allow Kurdish militias to withdraw during a five-day period would hold.

The situation on the ground in northeast Syria is very fragile, Trump acknowledged to reporters at the White House after a telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"It was a lot of pain for a couple of days,” he said. “And sometimes you have to go through some pain before you can get a good solution. But the Kurds are very happy about it. President Erdogan and Turkey is satisfied with it."

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said no U.S. ground forces would be enforcing the safe zone during the agreed-upon 120-hour pause in the fighting.