Erdogan: "We can establish safe zone in Northeastern Syria with US support"
Turkey - SMART
On Tuesday, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey can establish a safe zone in Northeastern Syria with support from the United States.
Erdogan delivered a speech before the parliament block of the Justice and Development Party in Ankara saying, "We can establish a safe zone to provide security for Syrians if we receive financial and logistics support from the US and International Coalition," according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
Erdogan added, "A Turkish building company could construct the safe zone in Northeastern Syria."
Erdogan noted that Turkey will not allow the Islamic State and People's Protection Units (YPG) to exist near its border.
Erdogan said that his phone call with the US President Donald Trump was positive, adding that Trump confirmed the decision to withdraw the US forces from Syria.
On January 14, 2019, Trump said, "We will establish a 20-mile safe zone (...) We do not want Kurds to provoke Turkey." The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara does not oppose the US suggestion of a safe zone in Northeastern Syria.
On January 14, 2019, Trump threatened to devastate Turkey’s economy if it launches attacks against the Kurdish militants in Syria; however, Turkey said that is is not scared of the US threats.
Turkey plans on launching a military operation against the YPG, which it believes is affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). On Friday, the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated that Turkey is ready to launch the military operation in the area east of the Euphrates river. Erdogan confirmed that Turkey is about to finish the preparations to launch the operation.