* Photograph: AA – Archive
James Jeffrey, the United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement, has indicated that the disagreements between the US and Turkey are implementing the formation of a “safe zone” in Syria.
Answering the questions of journalists in a press conference, James Jeffrey and US Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales have addressed the possible formation of a “safe zone” in Syria.
Indicating that the ISIS is still making operations in Syria, Iraq and Africa, Jeffrey has stated that YPG/PYD (People’s Protection Units/Democratic Union Party) are fighting against ISIS.
“The Turks want a deeper zone than the one that we think makes sense,” James Jeffrey has told the reporters at the State Department, adding that the US has proposed an area of some 5-14 kilometers along the border of Syria with heavy weapons pulled further back.
Jeffrey has further referred to unspecified “differences of opinion” over how the U.S. and Turkey “would operate in that zone”.
“We think that this is a deal we can sell to the people of northeast Syria. That’s very important,” he has said.
James Jeffrey has added that the U.S. is mindful of Turkey’s security concerns with regards to “the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and offshoots of the PKK” in the regions but is “equally” committed to protecting the main U.S. partner in northeast Syria from coming under attack.
“We are committed to those who have fought with us not being attacked and not being harmed by anyone,” Jeffrey has said. “That includes our concerns about the Turks”, Jeffrey has added further.
The Minister of Defense of Turkey Hulusi Akar previously informed his U.S. counterpart Patrick Michael Shanahan in a phone call that Turkey expects the U.S. to completely end its support for the PKK/YPG.
Akar said that Turkey would be obliged to create a safe zone on its own if the countries failed to find common ground, according to a statement released by the Ministry of National Defense on July 29. (AÖ/SD)