Turkey, Politics, Middle East

‘Turkey to control proposed safe zone in N. Syria’

Fight against terrorism and terror groups targeting Turkey will continue in every area, says presidential aide

‘Turkey to control proposed safe zone in N. Syria’

By Faruk Zorlu, Sena Guler and Sibel Ugurlu


A proposed safe zone in northern Syria along Turkish border will be under Ankara's control, the country’s presidential aide said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the reporters following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara, Ibrahim Kalin said, "Fight against terrorism and terror groups targeting Turkey will continue in every area."

Kalin highlighted that Turkey's aim in Syria's Idlib was to ensure the safety of people's lives and property.

About a Russian-Turkish contract for the purchase of S-400 air defense systems, Kalin said it "has nothing to do with deal for U.S. Patriot missiles."

Presidential aide said the U.S. delegation last week gave Turkey a five-item and legally non-binding paper about its forces' pullout from Syria .

Last week, a U.S. delegation -- including National Security Adviser John Bolton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey -- took part in talks at the presidential complex in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

In a surprising move, U.S. President Donald Trump last month announced the withdrawal of American forces from Syria.

Trump made the decision during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.

Turkey has repeatedly objected to U.S. support for the terrorist PKK/PYD as a "reliable ally" in Syria, which has included supplying arms and equipment.

In its 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the terrorist PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including women and children. The YPG/PKK is the PKK's Syrian branch.

Kalin briefed that Erdogan will pay a one-day visit to Moscow on Jan. 23, which is expected to touch on "bilateral issues and Syria crisis."

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