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Iran Press TV

Damascus says Turkey-US deal on Syria buffer zone to violate its sovereignty

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:38AM

Damascus has categorically rejected any deal between Turkey and the US on a buffer zone in northern Syria, describing it as a violation of its sovereignty.

"Syria reiterates its categorical rejection of any American-Turkish agreement," Syria's official news agency SANA quoted a foreign ministry source as saying Friday.

The source noted that such a deal would "constitute a blatant attack on the sovereignty and unity of the country."

The reaction came after Turkey said it will continue to discuss the planned demilitarization zone in northern Syria with the US after threatening to launch a new cross-border incursion into the Arab country.

Unnamed Turkish military officials on Thursday told Reuters that talks on the planned zone would continue, but reiterated that Ankara's expectations in Syria's Manbij had not yet been met.

Manbij is situated near the border with Turkey and currently held by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of Kurdish militants supported by the United States.

The SDF includes Syria's Kurdish militants of the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is regarded by Turkey as a terrorist organization and an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

Manbij has been a sticking point in Washington-Ankara relations since its capture from the Daesh terrorist group in late 2016 as the two sides have sought to establish a zone free of militants in northern Syria.

Speaking at a briefing in Ankara Thursday, one Turkish military official said work on the zone is planned to continue in the coming period.

"We cannot share details as efforts are under way. Our aims are clear. The Turkish army is the only force capable of doing this," the official said.

Turkey and the US began talks on Tuesday to establish the security zone in northern Syria aimed at creating a buffer between Kurdish fighters and the Turkish border.

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