Turkey accuses US of stalling on Syria 'safe zone' plans

Turkey accuses US of stalling on Syria 'safe zone' plans

Turkish and US commanders held a meeting in Ankara on Tuesday on the safe zone in Syria and the discussion will continue at the joint operations center in Akcakale district of southern Sanliurfa province, Turkey's Minister of Defense said.

"There have been some joint patrols, yes, but steps taken beyond that. are only cosmetic", he said.

The NATO allies have agreed to establish the so-called "safe zone" along Turkey's southern border and clear the region of Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters.

Turkish troops return after a joint US-Turkey patrol in northern Syria near the Turkish town of Akcakale on September 8, 2019. Washington sees the YPG as a key ally against Islamic State militants, while Ankara considers them as "terrorists", and part of the Kurdish rebels inside Turkey. "We need to confirm it through our own sources", Ibrahim Kalin said, alluding to Turkish demands that the zone is rid of the PKK/YPG, a terrorist group the U.S. has sometimes allied itself with.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara expected Washington to stand with it on the issue of the safe zone.

"Turkey's plans are ready", Cavusoglu said. The U.S. and Syrian Kurdish forces refer to it as a "stability system".

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He said Turkey and the United States needed to establish a "safe area" in northern Syria as soon as possible.

A United States military delegation visited the Turkish General Staff headquarters over a safe zone in Syria, according to the country's National Defence Ministry on Tuesday. The ministry said more discussions would be held Wednesday at a joint operations centre near Turkey's border with Syria.

The minister's comments came as two US military officials were visiting Turkey for talks on what Ankara calls "safe zone".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed Sunday rifts stay in the way Turkey and the USA imagine the zone, boasting Washington was "making an attempt to create a secure zone for the terrorist corporation, not for us".

Turkey has carried out several incursions into Syria throughout the country's civil war in an work to suppress the increasing affect of the Kurdish forces.

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