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

Cheryl Sanders
September 10, 2019

International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told journalists that Washington was too strongly involved with US -allied Syrian Kurdish fighters and was stalling on plans for the risk-free zone.

Turkey accused the United States on Tuesday of taking only "cosmetic steps" toward the creation of a so-called "safe zone" in northeast Syria and renewed Ankara's threat of unilateral military intervention to form a buffer area along its border.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the USA agreed last month to set up the buffer zone in Syria to keep Kurdish forces away from the Turkish border, launching joint patrols in the area on Sunday.

On Sunday, Turkish and United States troops carried out their first joint military land patrol there, Reuters reported.


While Turkey aims to completely eliminate the terrorist organization nesting in the northern Syria, the US counts on dealing with Turkey and the terrorist organization on the same level, Erdogan said.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told journalists that Washington was too strongly involved with US -allied Syrian Kurdish fighters and was stalling on plans for the safe zone.

Ankara regards the YPG as a "terrorist" offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group that has fought a guerilla war with Turkey since 1984.

The YPG has been a main USA ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.


The military officials were due to discuss "future support" for the joint US-Turkey operations centre in southeast Turkey and other "key activities", CENTCOM said in a statement.

USEUCOM's U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty and USCENTCOM's U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Bergeson will visit the Turkish General Staff headquarters in Ankara, said the ministry in its Twitter account.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week Turkey also aims to send 1 million of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts to the planned safe zone in northern Syria. US troops on Saturday also conducted patrols with the local Syrian Kurdish-led forces, which annoyed Turkey.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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