Thursday, August 22, 2019
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FM: Turkey Will Not Tolerate US Stalling on Syria Safe Zone

TEHRAN The US will not be able to stall Ankara on the establishment of a safe zone in Northern Syria, Turkey's foreign minister said on Thursday.

"What we say is that a US stalling tactic will not work. Unfortunately, they employed such stalling on Manbij, they did not keep their promise," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with Nabeela F. Tunis, his counterpart from Sierra Leone, in capital Ankara, Daily Sabah reproted.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the US focuses on the withdrawal of People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists from the Northern Syrian to stabilize the region, which is located North of Aleppo near the Turkish border.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, which has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants, for more than 30 years.

Cavusoglu underlined that the preliminary agreement between Ankara and Washington for a safe zone was only a beginning and that there remained "many topics" that need detailing.

He added that President Donald Trump had previously promised it would be 32-kilometre (20 mile) wide.

His comments come as an American military delegation headed by Lieutenant General Stephen Twitty, deputy commander of the US European Command, was expected in the Southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

On August 7, Turkish and US military officials agreed to set up a safe zone and develop a peace corridor running from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border to facilitate the return of displaced Syrians currently living in Turkey to their home country and provide security for Turkish border settlements and military outposts. They also agreed to establish a joint operations center.

The agreement envisages the setting up of measures necessary to address Turkey's security concerns.

Twitty will supervise the establishment of the joint operations center as part of the effort to organize a "safe zone" in Northern Syria, the Turkish defense ministry noted.

The Pentagon on Wednesday announced the agreement would be "implemented in stages".

Turkey previously conducted two offensives into Syria, against Daesh and the YPG, in 2016 and 2018.

Source: Fars News Agency