UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Turkey and the United States plan to start joint ground patrols in the safe area of northern Syria on Sunday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday.
“In this context, we look forward to implementing these activities with a specific system and pace, and we hope that progress will be made,” Akar said during a visit to the southern Turkish province of Malatya.
“The talks (with the United States) lasted for a few months. At the end of August, a general agreement was reached on a specific plan within a certain time frame.”
On August 7, Turkish and US officials agreed to establish a safe zone and a “peace corridor” in northern Syria, addressing Ankara’s security concerns over a Kurdish faction that controls the area.
The plan is for the YPG to withdraw south of the safe area. In addition, the safe area will facilitate the return of displaced Syrians living in Turkey.
Turkish drones began flying in northern Syria on Wednesday as part of the deal.
US and Turkish military officials also set up a joint operations center in the town of Agca.
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