BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday that talks with the U.S. on a safe zone in northern Syria have been ‘positive’ after a previous meeting left Ankara agitated.
“We witnessed with satisfaction that our partners grew closer to our position. The meetings were positive and quite constructive,” Akar stated, as quoted by state-owned Anadolu Agency.
“Our plans, preparations, the deployment of our units in the field are all complete. But we said we wanted to act together with our friend and ally, the United States,” Akar continued, adding “if that isn’t possible, we have said multiple times that we will do what is necessary.”
Turkey previously threatened to launch a large-scale military operation to capture the eastern region of the Euphrates River Valley.
According to Ankara, the eastern Euphrates region is controlled by ‘terrorist’ groups allied to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
In particular, the Turkish regime has accused the U.S. Coalition of harboring the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG), who Ankara says is an offshoot of the PKK.
Washington has denied coordinating with the YPG, but maintains that they work with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who is made up of several ethnic groups, including Kurds and Arabs.