Turkeys Ministry of Defense confirmed Tuesday that a delegation of six U.S. military officers arrived in the southeastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa on the same day and will discuss with Turkish officials the formation of a joint operations center to prepare for the establishment of a security zone in northeastern Syria.
Turkeys Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the Joint Operations Centre would begin its work in a few days. The statement did not mention the timetable and other details for the establishment of a safe zone.
Turkey and the United States agreed last week on a safe zone to ease tensions between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces supported by the United States. The Kurdish armed forces demanded that the security zone be 5 kilometers deep, which was rejected by the Turkish side.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akal reiterated on the 12th that the security zone is 32 km deep and controlled by Turkey.
The United States regards Kurdish armed forces as allies in Syria to fight against the extremist organization Islamic State, while Turkey regards them as terrorist organizations. In August 2016 and January 2018, it launched military operations of Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch successively, crossing into Syria to attack Kurdish armed forces.
The Syrian government opposes the establishment of a security zone between Turkey and the United States, and considers it a violation of Syrias sovereignty and territorial integrity. (Liu Jiang) [Xinhua News Agency microfeature
Source: Xinhua responsible editor: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026