Turkey says Syria safe zone center with US fully operational
A joint Turkish-US operation center to establish and manage a safe zone in northeast Syria is fully operational, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday according to Anadolu news agency.
The first joint helicopter flight was due to take place on Saturday, Akar added, according to the state-owned agency.
On Wednesday, the US and Turkish defense ministers “confirmed their intent to take immediate, coordinated steps to implement the framework,” said a statement by the US Department of Defense.
Also on Saturday, a representative of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS said the buffer area sought to “limit any uncoordinated military operations.”
“We believe that this dialogue is the only way to secure the border area in a sustainable manner,” Brigadier-General Nicholas Pond said.
On August 7, Turkish and US officials agreed to establish a joint operations center to oversee the creation of the “safe zone.”
Little is known about its size or how it will work, but Ankara has said there would be observation posts and joint patrols.
Damascus has rejected the agreement as serving “Turkey’s expansionist ambitions.”