U.N. chief welcomes Turkey pause, 'long way to go' to end Syria crisis

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed "any efforts" to de-escalate the situation in northern Syria and protect civilians, a U.N. spokesman said in a statement on Thursday after Turkey agreed to pause its offensive there.

"The Secretary-General recognizes that there is still a long way to go for an effective solution to the crisis in Syria," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Turkey agreed to pause its offensive for five days to let Kurdish forces withdraw from a "safe zone" Ankara had sought to capture, in a deal hailed by the Trump administration and cast by Turkey as a complete victory.