No agreement with US over Syria safe zone, Turkey says



ISTANBUL (dpa)- Turkey and the United States have failed to reach an agreement on the creation of a safe zone in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
A new offer made by the US was not satisfactory, Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara, adding that the Turkish side is running out of patience.



James Jeffrey
James Jeffrey

James Jeffrey, US special envoy for Syria and the anti-Islamic State coalition, was in Turkey this week for talks on the safe zone.
"We have the impression that [the US wants] to enter a stalling process here as in Manbij," Cavusoglu said, referring to a 2018 deal designed to end the presence of the People's Protection Units (YPG), a US-allied Kurdish militia, in the northern Syrian town.
Cavusoglu said the two allies failed to agree on who would control the safe zone, how deep it would be and whether the YPG would be completely removed from the area.
Turkey, a US ally as a member of NATO, has been seeking to create a safe zone along its border with northern Syria to provide security and stem the flow of migrants beyond the planned withdrawal of US troops.
Turkey views the YPG - who have played a critical role in the fight against Islamic State - as terrorists and has threatened to invade areas held by the group in northern Syria.
"We need to reach an agreement regarding the safe zone as soon as possible. We have no patience left," Cavusoglu said, warning that Ankara would otherwise launch a military operation east of the Euphrates river, as it has threatened before.
Jeffrey held "positive and productive" discussions in Ankara, the US embassy said on Wednesday, adding that consultations would continue.
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Thursday, July 25th 2019
dpa
           


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