Akar: Efforts with US on Syria safe zone to end if delay happens
Date: 2019-09-20 11:28
Joint operations between Turkey and the US over the planned safe zone in northern Syria will end if Washington stalls the process, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Thursday (September 19).
Akar said the joint operations will continue as long as they align with Turkey's interests and aims.
"We have completed our preparations. If necessary, we will take the matter to our own hands just as the president [Erdogan] has said before. Our plan B and C is ready," he said.
The minister once again reiterated that Turkey respected Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"No one should doubt it but we will also not allow any terror corridor to shape up right next to our borders. Our end goal is to remove PKK and YPG elements from northern Syria and establish a peace corridor, enabling our Syrian guests to return their homeland," he said
On Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave the US a two-week deadline, saying Ankara will deploy its own plans if the ongoing safe zone plans and implementation with the US in northern Syria prove unfruitful.
On Aug. 7, Turkish and US military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. They also agreed to establish a joint operations center.
Based on DS