Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Turkey's Erdogan discusses Syria 'safe zone' with Trump, White House says U.S. won't be involved

Reuters | Washington DC | Updated: 07-10-2019 09:58 IST | Created: 07-10-2019 09:54 IST
UPDATE 2-Turkey's Erdogan discusses Syria 'safe zone' with Trump, White House says U.S. won't be involved
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed Turkey's plans to establish a "safe zone" east of the Euphrates River in Syria in a phone call on Sunday, but the White House said U.S. forces would not be involved.

The Turkish presidency said after the call that Erdogan and Trump had agreed to meet in Washington next month, following an invitation by the U.S. president. The call came a day after Erdogan said a military incursion into northeastern Syria was imminent after Ankara accused Washington of stalling efforts to establish a "safe zone" there together.

During the phone call, Erdogan expressed his frustration with the failure of U.S. military and security officials to implement the agreement between the two countries, the Turkish presidency said. Erdogan also reiterated the necessity of the safe zone to eliminate the threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization, and to create the conditions necessary for the return of Syrian refugees, it said.

"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," the White House Press Secretary said in a statement. "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial "Caliphate," will no longer be in the immediate area," it added.

The statement from the White House also said "Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years", as France, Germany and other European nations that they had come from had refused U.S. requests to take them back. The NATO allies agreed in August to establish a zone in northeast Syria along the border with Turkey. Ankara says the zone should be cleared of the YPG.

Turkey says it wants to settle up to 2 million Syrian refugees in the zone. It currently hosts 3.6 million Syrians sheltering from Syria's more than eight-year conflict. Turkey says the United States, which supports the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a YPG-led force that defeated Islamic State fighters in Syria, is moving too slowly to set up the zone. It has repeatedly warned of launching an offensive on its own into northeast Syria, where U.S. forces are stationed alongside the SDF.

The two countries are also at odds over how far the zone should extend into Syria and who should control it. Turkey says it should be 30 km (19 miles) deep. The ties between the allies have also been pressured over Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 defense missiles and the trial of local U.S. consulate employees in Turkey.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Doping-Trump signs anti-doping act into law

U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday a bill that lets U.S. justice officials pursue criminal penalties against those involved in doping conspiracies at international events involving American athletes, sponsors or broadcast...

China tweet that enraged Australia propelled by 'unusual' accounts, say experts

A Chinese officials tweet of an image of an Australian soldier that sparked a furious reaction from Canberra was amplified across social media by unusual accounts, of which half were likely fake, an Israeli cybersecurity firm and Australian...

Mainland China reports 17 new COVID-19 cases for Dec. 4

Mainland China reported 17 new COVID-19 cases on Dec. 4, unchanged from a day earlier, the countrys national health authority said on Saturday.The National Health Commission said in a statement 15 of the new cases were imported infections. ...

South Korea reports 583 coronavirus cases, off 9-month high

South Korea reported 583 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, down from the previous days 629, which was the highest since a first wave peaked in February and early March. Cases have been found largely in the capital Seoul and surroundin...

Give Feedback