Turkey and the United States said they agreed on Wednesday to establish a joint operation center in Turkey to coordinate and manage a planned safe zone in northern Syria.
After three days of talks in Ankara, the two countries said the safe zone on Syria’s northeast border with Turkey should be a “peace corridor,” and that every effort would be made so that Syrians displaced by war can return to their country.
The agreement was announced in separate statements issued by Turkey’s Defense Ministry and the US Embassy in Ankara.
Neither statement said whether they had overcome two main points that had divided Washington and Ankara: how far the proposed safe zone should extend into Syria, and who would command forces patrolling the area.
Turkey’s lira strengthened after the announcement, which followed warnings from Turkey that it could launch unilateral military action in northern Syria if Ankara and Washington failed to reach agreement on the safe zone. The lira stood at 5.478 at 1413 GMT, up nearly 1% on the day.
Turkey and the United States, allies in NATO, have been deadlocked for months over the scope and command of the zone, given the presence of Kurdish YPG militia that fought alongside US forces against ISIS militants, but which Ankara sees as terrorists who pose a grave security threat.
Ankara has accused Washington of stalling on setting up the safe zone, which would extend hundreds of kilometers along Syria’s northeastern border, and has demanded that the United States sever its ties with the YPG.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had said earlier that the United States was shifting closer to Ankara’s views on the proposed safe zone, adding that Turkey’s plans for a military deployment there are complete.
“Our plans, preparations, the deployment of our units in the field are all complete. But we said we wanted to act together with our friend and ally, the United States,” state-owned Anadolu Agency quoted him as saying.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر