THU 24 - 10 - 2019
 
Date: Aug 29, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Erdogan says won't allow US to delay Syria 'safe zone'
Agence France Presse
ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Turkey would not allow the U.S. to delay the establishment of a 'safe zone' in northern Syria, in comments published Thursday.

Ankara and Washington earlier this month agreed after difficult talks to set up a buffer zone between the Turkish border and Syrian areas controlled by the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG militia.

The NATO allies agreed to set up a joint operations centre which Turkey said at the weekend was at full capacity.

"We will never allow a delay similar to that in Manbij. The process should advance swiftly," Erdogan said, according to CNN Turk broadcaster.

Turkey and the United States in May last year agreed a road map including the withdrawal of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij in northern Syria.

"The agreement made with the U.S. towards clearing the east of the Euphrates [river] from the YPG and setting up a safe zone is the right step," Erdogan said after returning from talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said the YPG was "pulling a trick in Manbij" and had not withdrawn. Turkey has repeatedly accused the U.S. of delaying the previous deal.

Ankara says the YPG is a "terrorist" offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara, the US and the European Union.

But the US worked closely with the YPG in the fight against Daesh (ISIS).

Turkey-U..S relations have been particularly tense over American support to the YPG but other issues remain, including the failure to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim preacher blamed for the 2016 failed coup in Turkey.

But Erdogan said joint U.S.-Turkey patrols would "start soon" as part of the latest agreement for northern Syria.

He said Turkish forces and armoured vehicles were already at the border, adding: "We are in a position where we can do anything at any moment."

Turkey repeatedly threatened to launch a third cross-border offensive in Syria against the YPG until the U.S.-Turkey agreement.

Previous offensives by the Turkish military supporting Syrian rebels took place against Daesh in 2016 and against the YPG in 2018.


 
Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment

Enter the security code below*

 Can't read this? Try Another.
 
Related News
Russia hopes Syria coordination with Turkey, U.S. will help stability
Kurdish fighters, wounded leave besieged Syria town: AFP
U.S. troops cross into Iraq as part of withdrawal from Syria
Turkey Counts Down Hours to Kurdish YPG Withdrawal
Iran rejects Turkey's establishing of military posts in Syria
Related Articles
Trump on Syria: Knowledge-free foreign policy
Betrayal of Kurds sickens U.S. soldiers
Kurdish commander pleads for U.S. support
Kurdish-Arab power struggle in northeastern Syria
A U.S. ally in Syria confronts new threats
Copyright 2019 . All rights reserved