Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday announced his intention to discuss with US President-elect Donald Trump the establishment of a security zone in northern Syria once Trump takes office.
ANKARA (Sputnik) — According to Erdogan, Ankara would be capable of keeping the zone free of any terrorists' establishments.
"I constantly state the need for a Syrian security zone, liberated from terrorists. We told the United States, Russia and Iran about it. I openly declare that Ankara will create a security zone in northern Syria, and will not allow a terrorist statehood in the area. On January 20, the new president will start working in the United States. We will discuss this with him," Erdogan said.
He added that Turkey was ready to negotiate with the United States a joint operation on the liberation of Syrian Raqqa from Daesh militants.
On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed the Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of Daesh terrorist organization, which is outlawed in Russia. As Jarabulus was retaken, the joint forces of Ankara, the coalition and Syrian rebels continued the offensive southwest.
The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who have accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.