Turkey and the United States have agreed in general terms on a plan that envisions American warplanes, Syrian insurgents and Turkish forces working together to sweep ISIL militants from a 60-mile-long strip of northern Syria along the Turkish border, American and Turkish officials say.
The plan would create what officials from both countries are calling an ISIL-free zone controlled by relatively moderate Syrian insurgents, which the Turks say could also be a “safe zone” for displaced Syrians.
While many details have yet to be determined, including how deep the strip would extend into Syria, the plan would significantly intensify American and Turkish military action against ISIL militants in the country, as well as the United States’ coordination with Syrian insurgents on the ground. The plan was described in recent days by four senior American officials, who were briefed on the talks and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational planning.
In the same context, the Turkish military are not targeting Syrian Kurds after Kurdish forces and a monitoring group said tanks shelled Kurdish-held villages in northern Syria, a Turkish government official said on Monday.