00:45 GMT +317 October 2019
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    A convoy of Turkish armoured vehicles drive towards Bab al-Hawa crossing point between Syria and Turkey on a highway in the northern countryside of the Syrian province of Idlib on June 20, 2019.

    Turkey Threatens to Start Operation in Syria's North-East If Safety Zone Not Created

    © AFP 2019 / AAREF WATAD
    Middle East
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey may start a military operation against Kurdish forces in the north-east of Syria if no safety zone is created there, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said as quoted by TGRT broadcaster.

    "The creation of a safety zone in [regions bordering Turkey] in Syria is vitally important, and we will not give up on this. If it is not created as it has been planned, if our national security is jeopardized, we will start an operation to the east of Euphrates. We continue negotiations with our US partners, and we will discuss this again this week," Cavusoglu said.

    On Monday, US senior diplomats and military officials, headed by US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey, met with a Turkish delegation, headed by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in Ankara to continue their negotiations on the safe zone.

    Ahead of the meeting, Cavusoglu told the Turkish TGRT Haber broadcaster that he hoped an agreement would be reached following the meeting.

    In January, US President Donald Trump suggested establishing a safe zone as a solution to decrease tensions between Turkey and the US-allied Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units militia (YPG), which controls that region. Ankara views them as a terrorist group and last December threatened to launch an offensive against them.

    Negotiations on the safe zone continue as the two countries have yet to reach a final agreement on how deep the safe zone should be and what would be Ankara's role in Syria.





    kurdish militia, Syria, Turkey
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