'Out of Patience' With U.S., Turkey Mulls Syria Operation East of Euphrates

Ankara's statement on preparations comes a day after it warned that it would act if planned safe zone could not be agreed with the United States

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters march during a military exercise near the rebel-held town of al-Rai in the north of Aleppo province, along the border with Turkey, July 24, 2019.
Nazeer al-Khatib/AFP

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met with military officials to discuss a possible operation in northern Syria, the ministry said on Thursday, a day after Ankara warned it would act if a planned safe zone could not be agreed with the United States.

Turkey said on Wednesday it had "run out of patience" with the United States in talks over the formation of the zone, after Turkish and U.S. officials held a series of meetings on the planned safe zone and other developments in the region.

"We conveyed our views and requests to the delegation that came here. We expect them to evaluate these and answer us immediately," the ministry quoted Akar as saying in a statement. "We emphasized to them once again that we have no tolerance for any delays, and that we will use our initiative if necessary."