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Safety zone in northern Syria may become partial guarantee of Turkey’s security

18 January 2019 [11:14] - TODAY.AZ

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

A closer look at the alignment of forces in Syria reveals quite an interesting picture.

First, despite that the PYD/YPG are the bearers of the Marxist ideology, this terrorist group is actively supported by the US.

Secondly, the Syrian government periodically negotiates with the PYD/YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which don’t hide their intention to obtain at least autonomy in the north of the country.

Third, despite that the creation of a new state in the north of Syria isn’t in the interests of Iran, Russia and also Damascus, for some reason namely Turkey, a member of NATO alliance and a US ally, is fighting the PYD/YPG.

This is while more than a month has passed since the time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara will launch a new antiterrorist operation in the north of Syria against the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist group - PYD/YPG.

US President Donald Trump has recently stated on his Twitter page: "Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone...."

Commenting on Trump’s recent statements, President Erdogan also noted that the latest statement by US President Donald Trump had greatly upset Turkey. Erdogan also noted that he had discussed this topic with Trump, and Washington proposed to Ankara to create a safety zone in the north of Syria. At a time, Ankara turned to the US with a similar proposal.

Erdogan said that Turkey will create a safety zone in the north of Syria.

The creation of the safety zone is primarily an initiative of Turkey, and it was previously rejected. Turkey proposed to create a safety zone in the north of Syria for the first time in 2013.

The safety zone in the north of Syria includes a territory 32 kilometers deep and 460 kilometers long along the Syrian border with Turkey. In the case of the creation of this zone, it will be divided into two parts, the first part will start from the Iraqi-Syrian border and will be extended to the Syrian city of Qamishli, because the Syrian government forces control this city.

The second part of the safety zone will start from Qamishli and will be extended to Jarabulus city, which was liberated from the terrorists of the “Islamic State” (IS) as part of the Operation Euphrates Shield conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces in 2016.

Manbij city, where Turkey had previously intended to conduct new anti-terrorist operations, isn’t a part of the safety zone.

It isn’t yet known when the safety zone will be created in the north of Syria, but many questions arise regarding this plan. First, what will be the position of the Syrian government and Russia regarding this plan? It is expected that this issue will be put on the agenda during Erdogan’s visit to Moscow, scheduled for January 23 this year.

Another important question is whether the PYD/YPG and SDF troops will leave the safety zone, since Ankara is in favor of the terrorists’ leaving the territories where such a zone will be created.

The third and very important issue will be the status of Manbij, as is well known, the US warned Turkey not to launch an anti-terrorist operation.

If everything goes well, although the probability of this is very small, the creation of a safety zone in the north of Syria may be considered a partial guarantee of Turkey’s security.


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