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Australia won't retrieve refugees during cease-fire in Syria

Australia has ruled out retrieving dozens of Australian women and children from refugee camps during the cease-fire in Syria.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said today the situation remained too dangerous to send Australian troops or officials into the war-torn nation.

Dutton says he is hopeful the cease-fire will lead to lasting peace.

About 46 Australian women and children who fled Islamic State-held territory are being held at the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria.

Eight Australian offspring of two slain Islamic State group fighters were removed from Syria in June, Australia's only organised repatriation from the conflict zone.

It comes after the US and Turkey agreed today to a cease-fire in the Turks' deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, requiring the Kurds to vacate the area in an arrangement that largely solidifies Turkey's position and aims in the week-long conflict. The deal includes a conditional halt to American economic sanctions.

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VP Mike Pence said the temporary halt to fighting will allow the US-allied Syrian Kurds to withdraw. Source: Breakfast

After negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US Vice President Mike Pence hailed the five-day cease-fire as the way to end the bloodshed caused by Turkey's invasion of Syria. He remained silent on whether it amounted to a second abandonment of America's former Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Turkey's president responded to a tweet by Donald Trump in which the US leader says a Turkish-US cease-fire deal will save millions of lives.

In his response, Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted Thursday: "Mr. President, many more lives will be saved when we defeat terrorism, which is humanity's arch enemy."