Turkey, US agree on establishment of safe zone in northern Syria
Iran Press TV
Thu Aug 8, 2019 05:00PM
After heated negotiations, Turkey and the US agreed on the creation of Turkey's long-awaited demand, a safe zone at the Syrian northern border.
The two NATO allies will work together to address threats affecting Turkey from the YPG militants to preventing the militant group from establishing a Kurdish corridor and an autonomous area.
Ankara and Washington said refugees will be able to return to the area and live in this safe corridor.
The announcement of the agreement came in a joint statement by [the] Turkish Defense Ministry and [the] American embassy in Ankara. It stated that the two sides had agreed after three days of extensive meetings to initiate a Turkey-based operations center to start as soon as possible to establish the peace zone.
The two sides had disagreed on several issues and did not mention when the process would start and avoided to speak on Turkey's threats of a cross-border operation. However, Turkey seemed adamant to push YPG forces away from its borders through a military operation. Analysts say the US is trying to prevent it from doing so by addressing its concerns.
Washington and Ankara have been at loggerheads concerning the creation of the safe zone, given the presence of YPG forces that are supported by the US and considered a terrorist group by Turkey. Ankara says the YPG is a Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, and poses a threat to its national security.
The US and Turkey finally found a common ground on the safe zone issue, however, key points are still vague, such as the depth of this zone, and who will command forces patrolling the area after its creation.
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