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Syria's Safe Zone .. Washington and Ankara agree to form a joint operations center


A Pentagon spokesman told Al-Jazeera that the security mechanism reached with Turkey in northeastern Syria will be implemented in stages, adding that Washington is ready to start some activities quickly, as talks with Ankara continue.

The US Embassy in Turkey has confirmed a US-Turkish agreement to establish a joint operations center for coordination and joint management of the safe area in northern Syria.

Al-Jazeera correspondent said that Washington and Ankara agreed on three points regarding the safe area in northern Syria, namely the existence of a peace corridor, a joint operations room and the removal of Turkey's security concerns on its southern border.

He added that these points formed joint intersections between the statements of the Turkish Ministry of Defense and the US Embassy in Turkey after the conclusion of talks between military officials of the two countries, which lasted for three days.

The Turkish-American agreement also includes measures to ensure the return of displaced Syrians to their country.

For its part, Reuters reported that Turkey and the United States agreed to establish a joint operations center in Turkey to coordinate and manage the safe area to be set up in northeastern Syria, in a move that appears to reduce the chances of Turkey to launch imminent military action in Syria.

The proposed safe zone aims to secure a land sector stretching more than 400 kilometers along Syria's northeastern border with Turkey. The US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) control most of the sector.

Ankara considers the YPG to be a terrorist security force and has asked the United States to cut ties.

The two countries, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said they had agreed to "swiftly implement preliminary measures to address Turkey's security concerns."

They said the safe area on Syria's northeast border with Turkey should be a "corridor of peace" and that they would make every effort to ensure the return of war-displaced Syrians to their country.

Two major problems
Neither country has pointed to a solution to the two main problems that have caused the dispute between Washington and Ankara: the extent of the safe-haven incursion into Syria, and the party that will lead the forces in that region.

Washington has proposed a safe zone, a five-kilometer demilitarized zone, reinforced by an additional, nine-kilometer, heavy weapon-free zone, making the full extent of the area inside Syria less than half of what Turkey wanted.

Turkey has also asked for absolute authority over the region, another point of disagreement with the United States, and the Turkish Defense Ministry said it would not give further details about the agreement at the moment.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said earlier on Wednesday that the United States had approached Turkey's view on the planned safe area.

He said his country's military deployment plans had been completed. "We have completed all our plans and have our forces stationed on the ground, but we have also said we want to move with the United States," Akar was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

Source: aljazeera

News/Politics 2019-08-26T14:53:02.223Z
News/Politics 2019-08-24T14:41:06.494Z
news 2020/04/09    

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