Turkey Says U.S. Delegation Begins Work on Syria Safe Zone

Ankara seeks to push out U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish militias from border areas inside Syria, considering them terrorists aligned with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey

File photo: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump gesture during the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019.
Presidential Press Service via AP

Turkey says a U.S. delegation has arrived in the country to set up a coordination center for a so-called "safe zone" in Syria, part of an agreement struck last week that appeared to avert a possible new Turkish incursion into Syria.

Turkey's defense ministry tweeted Monday that six Americans arrived in the southeastern Sanliurfa province and said the center would be activated soon.

Ankara seeks to push out U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish militias from border areas inside Syria, considering them terrorists aligned with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. These Syrian Kurdish forces are allied with the U.S., and had fought the Islamic State group in the area.

Last week's agreement to set up the joint operations center did not specify if the region would be cleared of the Kurdish fighters.