BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Wednesday that the U.S. proposal on a safe zone in northern Syria was unsatisfactory.
Cavusoglu said the U.S. proposal did not meet Turkey’s prerequisites, adding that Ankara was running out of patience in northern Syria.
“We got the impression that they want to enter a stalling process here as in Manbij,” Cavusoglu said, referring to a roadmap agreed last year to clear a northern Syrian town of YPG fighters. “We need to reach an agreement regarding the safe zone as soon as possible because have no patience left.”
Part of the issue is the U.S.’ continued support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and their allies from the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Turkey considers both Kurdish-led groups as offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who was involved in a long war with the Turkish Armed Forces in the latter part of the 1900s.
The U.S. envoy for Syria James Jeffrey made a trip to Ankara this to discuss the safe zone proposal with the Turkish regime.
However, Cavusoglu said that U.S. military officials held a meeting with a YPG leader on Monday – the same day as Jeffrey’s talks at the foreign ministry – indicated Washington was not sincere.
He said on Monday that if the safe zone in northern Syria is not established, and if threats continue against Turkey, Ankara would launch a military operation east of the Euphrates river, a move that Ankara has threatened in the past.