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Erdogan: Turkey to sort out safe zone in Northern Syria soon

Turkish President and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during AK Party's Extended Meeting of Provincial Heads at AK Party Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey on September 5, 2019 [Murat Kula / Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech in Ankara, Turkey on 5 September 2019 [Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey will sort out the formation of a safe zone in the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria in few weeks, the Turkish president said Saturday, according to a report by Anadolu Agency.

“Now there is the east of the Euphrates on our agenda. I hope that in a few weeks, one way or another, but surely we will sort it out,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during an event with his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s members in central Eskisehir province.

Joint Turkish-US ground patrols for a planned safe zone in northern Syria are set to begin on Sunday, according to Turkey’s national defense minister.

Turkish and US military officials reached an agreement on August 7 that a planned safe zone in northern Syria will serve as a “peace corridor” for displaced Syrians wanting to return home and that a Joint Operations Center in Turkey will be set up to coordinate its establishment.

Erdogan: ‘Safe zone in Idlib nothing more than a name’

Erdogan said he would pay a visit to the US after September 22, and he would attend the UN General Assembly meeting and “most probably” would separately meet with US President Donald Trump and discuss “face-to-face” the steps to be taken in the east of the Euphrates River.

“Because what they do doesn’t match what they say, so we need to solve it,” Erdogan said, adding that it is unacceptable for Turkey that the US trains the YPG/PYD terrorist organisations in the northern Syria.

He also stressed that Turkey will not remain silent to over 30,000 weapon, equipment and ammunition-laden trucks sent by the US to the northern Syria area [to the PKK/YPG] as Turkey is the only country in the region to fight with.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which Turkey claims has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants, for more than 30 years.

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