Turkish military officials and their U.S. counterparts launched joint works to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria, Turkish National Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.
In a Twitter post, the ministry said military officials of both countries discussed the establishment of a “safe zone” which is planned to be established jointly by Turkey and the U.S. in a coordinated manner.
Turkish and American military officials will continue to discuss the matter in the coming days, according to the statement.
On Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and James Jeffrey, U.S. envoy to Syria, met in capital Ankara and exchanged views on the issue.
Since 2016, Turkey has conducted two major military operations in northwestern Syria -- Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch -- to purge the region of terrorist groups, Daesh and the YPG which is the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization PKK.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including many women, children, and infants.
Last Friday, Akar told acting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper: “The only military force that is ready, competent, and appropriate for the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria is the Turkish Armed Forces.”
By Ali Murat Alhas