US military officials in Turkey for Syria ‘safe zone’ talks

Published September 10, 2019, 7:24 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By the Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s defense ministry says two top US military officials are in Turkey for talks over a planned “safe zone” in northeast Syrian.

A US soldier walks past a Turkish armored vehicle during the first joint ground patrol of America and Turkish forces in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019.  (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo / MANILA BULLETIN)
A US soldier walks past a Turkish armored vehicle during the first joint ground patrol of America and Turkish forces in the so-called “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo / Maya Alleruzzo / MANILA BULLETIN)

A ministry statement said a delegation headed by Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty, deputy commander of the US European Command, and Lt. Gen. Thomas Bergeson, deputy commander of the US Central Command, would meet with Turkish military officials on Tuesday.

Their visit comes days after Turkish and US troops conducted their first joint ground patrol of the “safe zone” that Ankara has been pressing for in the Kurdish-administered region.

Turkey hopes the buffer zone will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers the US-backed fighters terrorists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says rifts remain in the way Turkey and the US envision the zone.

 
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