U.S. Delegation Begins Work on Syria Safe Zone

Turkey says a U.S. delegation has arrived in the country to set up a coordination center for a so-called “safe zone” in Syria, part of an agreement struck last week that appeared to avert a possible new Turkish incursion into Syria, AP/Voice of America informed.

Turkey’s defense ministry tweeted Monday that six Americans arrived in the southeastern Sanliurfa province and said the center would be activated soon.

Ankara seeks to push out U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish militias from border areas inside Syria, considering them terrorists aligned with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. These Syrian Kurdish forces are allied with the U.S., and had fought the ISIS group in the area.

Last week, Washington and Ankara to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria that would allow Turkey to protect its borders from Syrian-Kurdish forces that it regards as a terrorist threat and provide Syrian refugees in Turkey a safe space to return home, The New York Times informed.

Defense officials from both countries issued separate but similar statements after three days of talks in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The statements gave no details on the size of the zone or how it will be policed, which may still be undecided, but the agreement was presented by Turkey as a meeting of its demands.

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