Turkey accuses U.S. of stalling on Syria 'safe zone' plans

Turkey accuses U.S. of stalling on Syria 'safe zone' plans

Turkey accuses U.S. of stalling on Syria 'safe zone' plans

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday rifts remain in the way Turkey and the USA envision the zone, claiming Washington was "trying to create a safe zone for the terrorist organization, not for us".

"Yes, there are some joint patrols but other than that, the steps that have been taken or the steps that are said to be taken are cosmetic steps", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told journalists that Washington was too strongly involved with USA -allied Syrian Kurdish fighters and was stalling on plans for the risk-free zone.

Turkey's defense ministry says two top US military officials are in Turkey for talks over a planned "safe zone" in northeast Syrian.

On Aug. 7, Turkish and US officials agreed to set up a safe zone and develop a "peace corridor" in northern Syria which would address Ankara's security concerns about a Kurdish faction that controls the territory.

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

Cavusoglu said Washington's approach so far had served the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) more than Turkey.

Erdogan also said Turkey would act alone if the safe zone was not established by the end of September, a warning Cavusoglu repeated on Tuesday, 20 days before month's end.

Deputy commanders from the US Central Command and US European Command were due to meet their Turkish counterparts on Tuesday, Turkey's defence ministry said on Twitter. Turkey considers these Kurdish militias a threat, but they've also been key USA allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Activities for the formation of a safe zone in the northern Syria and east of the Euphrates are ongoing, the ministry added. "But, we are uncomfortable with the USA providing equipment and ammunition to these terrorists with nearly 50,000 trucks", he said.

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