Turkey rejects US safe zone plan

TEHRAN, Jan. 26 (MNA) – The US should first build trust by taking concrete steps before discussing the establishment of a 30-kilometer safe zone in Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

Speaking to reporters on his way back from France, where he met US Counterpart Rex Tillerson, Çavuşoğlu said that the US needs to start taking concrete actions to win Turkey's trust again.

"There was a loss of trust with the United States during this period. Until trust is instilled again, it is not right for these issues to be discussed," Çavuşoğlu said, according to Daily Sabah.

Meanwhile US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Thursday described the People's Protection Units (YPG) in northwestern Syria a terrorist group as "PKK."

During a press briefing, Nauert said that Turkey was dealing with the "PKK instead of fighting Daesh."

Meanwhile, US and Turkish military commanders discussed the possibility of creating a "secure zone" along the border with Syria, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday amid Turkey's ongoing military operation in northwestern Syria's Afrin against the YPG and Daesh.

"We monitor the weapons we have provided [YPG] carefully and ensure that weapons do not fall into the wrong hands," Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said in a statement.

The US government has long supported the YPG with a vast amount of military equipment and heavy armament to fight Daesh. Despite Ankara's concerns, former US President Barack Obama initiated the support program, which so far has sent nearly 5,000 truckloads and 2,000 planeloads of weapons. This has been continued by the Trump administration.

The lack of consistency from the Trump administration regarding the US's activities in Syria has fueled tensions and deepened the rift in relations with Turkey that was already complicated.

News Code 131622


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