Syria: Turkey, US Hold Joint Ground Patrol in Northern Syrian 'Safe Zone'

Turkey cannot bear new influx of migrants Erdogan

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

Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border.

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.

The YPG, which has been the main U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, is considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, which says it is an extension of Kurdish militants in Turkey. The two countries agreed on a roadmap in May 2018 to remove the YPG fighters from Manbij in northern Syria, but Turkey says the withdrawal did not take place, as agreed. However, Ankara continues to distrust Washington's intentions as USA support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has continued.

"Turkey's options are ready", Cavusoglu said.

Turkey and the United States had been at odds for a long time over the northeastern Syria and the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the USA and EU.

He added that 350,000 Syrian refugees were sent from Turkey to the Syrian territories cleared by the Turkish armed forces from terrorists.

Military officials at the US Central Command and the European Command are scheduled to meet with their Turkish counterparts on Tuesday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter. Turkey and the USA held the third joint flight on Thursday over the planned safe zone.

Erdogan also said Turkey would act alone if the safe zone was not established by the end of September, a warning Cavusoglu repeated on Tuesday, 20 days before month's end.

Late last week, the Turkish president accused Europe of failing to fulfil its commitment to pay the agreed sum of 3 billion euros for the detention of refugees in Turkey.

Turkey has carried out several incursions into Syria during the country's civil war in an effort to curb the expanding influence of the Kurdish forces.

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