US team begins establishing op center in Turkey for 'safe zone' in Syria
Iran Press TV
Mon Aug 12, 2019 09:00PM
A US delegation has arrived in Turkey to set up an operation center in the country for the stated purpose of creating a "safe zone" in Syria.
The Turkish Defense Ministry made the announcement on Monday.
The operation center was reportedly ready to run "in the coming days," after what was described as "preliminary preparation."
Turkish Ministry of National Defense also confirmed that the six-person delegation traveled to the southern province of Sanliurfa, where "work is underway to establish a Joint Action Center for the Safe Zone, which is planned to be coordinated with the US in the north of Syria."
After months of deadlocked negotiations, Ankara and Washington announced last week that they have agreed to work to establish the operation center.
"We have said on every occasion that we need a width of 30 to 40 kilometers," Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told TRT television on Monday.
Turkey also insists that the zone have no US-backed Syrian Kurdish troops, known as the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has been fighting for autonomy for decades. Like Ankara, the US has listed the PKK as a terrorist group, but views the YPG as an ally in its so-called fight against the Takfiri Daesh terror group.
Damascus has condemned Ankara and Washington's violation of its sovereignty.
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