Saturday, June 19th | 10 Tammuz 5781

January 24, 2019 10:31 am

Turkey Says Has Capacity to Create ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria Alone

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu. Photo: Reuters / Denis Balibouse.

Turkey has the capacity to create a “safe zone” in Syria on its own but will not exclude the United States, Russia or others if they want to cooperate, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

After US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he and Trump had discussed Turkey setting up a 20-mile-deep safe zone in Syria along the border.

Cavusoglu told broadcaster A Haber that nothing was yet certain about the planned safe zone, but that Ankara and Washington’s views were in line, aside from a couple of points.

“We could establish a safe zone on our own but we will not exclude the US, Russia or others if they would like to cooperate,” Cavusoglu said.

Related coverage

June 18, 2021 9:21 am

‘Financial Surrealism’: Lebanese Opt for Beer Over Banks

Faced with the choice of leaving their savings stuck in the bank or investing them at a huge loss, some...

Speaking after Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said Ankara and Moscow were “on the same page” regarding a Syrian political solution aside from the issue of whether President Bashar al-Assad should stay in office. Moscow backs Assad while Ankara wants him gone.

Cavusoglu said Turkey was in indirect contact with the Syrian government, but did not elaborate.

Cavusoglu also said Turkey and the United States had started discussing who will be in the administration of Manbij, a Syrian town currently controlled by a militia allied to US-backed Kurdish forces.

Turkey regards the Kurdish YPG militia as a terrorist group and Erdogan said on Monday Turkey would not allow the secure zone that Ankara is considering setting up to become a base for militants.

Cavusoglu said the US special representative for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, will visit Ankara on Thursday and hold talks with Turkish officials.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.