Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met with U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien on Wednesday in Turkey’s capital.
According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, they discussed the latest developments in northern Syria and the planned safe zone there and exchanged views on defense and security issues.
Ankara plans to resettle 2 million Syrians in a 30-kilometer (19-mile) wide proposed safe zone in Syria stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij. However, the presence of terror groups such as the PKK, PYD and YPG risk its formation.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear the region east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Writing by Hamdi Celikbas
Reporting by Dilara Hamit