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Ankara Planning to Assassinate Kurdish Commanders, Figures in Eastern Syria

TEHRAN Turkey has established a network for assassinating the commanders and influential figures of the US-backed Kurdish militia in Eastern Syria, Kurdish-language media outlets claimed on Friday.

The Kurdish-language Hawar News website quoted some Kurdish figures who have had experience of diplomatic activities in Europe and are now in Northern and Eastern Syria as saying that some of their friends in Europe have informed them that the Turkish government is planning to assassinate them.

They noted that the Turkish government has set up a massive network of mercenaries in a bid to eliminate influential Kurdish military and political figures in Eastern and Northeastern Syria.

In a relevant development on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Ankara is not satisfied with new US proposals for a safe zone in Northern Syria, warning that Turkey is running out of patience with Washington over the issue.

Turkey has been angered by the US support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces based in East of the Euphrates River. Ankara views the armed Kurds in northeastern Syria as an extension of the outlawed militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Syria News reported.

Turkey has been in talks with the US over the establishment of a militant-free safe zone across its border in Northern Syria.

The US special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, held talks with Turkish officials in Ankara this week on the details of the safe zone where he presented new proposals.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said that the two allies had failed to agree on how deep the safe zone would be, who would control it and whether the area would be completely cleared of the Kurdish militants.

"We got the impression that they want to enter a stalling process here as in Manbij," Cavusoglu noted, referring to a deal reached between Ankara and Washington to purportedly remove YPG militants from Syria's Northern town of Manbij that had still not been implemented, more than a year after the plan was agreed.

"We need to reach an agreement regarding the safe zone as soon as possible because we have no patience left," he added.

The Turkish minister also stated that US military officials meeting with a YPG leader on Monday, which coincided with Jeffrey's talks at the foreign ministry, showed that Washington was not sincere.

However, the US Embassy in Ankara announced in a statement on Wednesday that Jeffrey held "forthright, positive, and productive" talks with Turkish officials.

There was an overall discussion on Syria and specifically for the northeast, both sides committed to accelerated and concrete progress on the Manbij roadmap, and discussed detailed proposals to enhance Turkey's security along the Turkish border in northeast Syria, the statement added.

Cavusoglu had warned in an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber on Monday that if the safe zone is not established in the Northern parts of Syria, Turkey will launch an offensive in the Arab country.

Source: Fars News Agency