Turkish defense minister visits border area for safe zone in Syria

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/8/17 8:57:26

Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar on Friday paid a visit to a border military post in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa where Turkey and the United States will set up a Joint Operations Center for a planned safe zone in Syria.

Akar, along with commanders of the land, air, and naval forces, arrived in Sanliurfa and inspected troops in the border area in the Akcakale district.

Their visit came one day after a US military delegation visited the military post to examine the planned Joint Operations Center at the army frontier.

The US delegation, headed by Deputy Commander of the US European Command Stephen Twitty, also held talks with Turkish military officials on the planned "safe zone."

"Within the scope of the safe zone, which is planned to be established in the north of Syria in coordination with the United States, efforts are underway to put into operation the Joint Operation Center to be established in Sanliurfa," Turkish Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.

Turkish and US military officials on Aug. 7 agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, which envisages the withdrawal of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the area.

The two NATO allies also agreed to establish a Joint Operations Center for the administration and coordination of the safe zone. It was not immediately clear how and when the zone would be created.

Turkey sees the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Posted in: MID-EAST

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