Syria: Turkey, US Hold Joint Ground Patrol in Northern Syrian 'Safe Zone'

US delegation Turkish General Staff meeting concludes

The CENTCOM and EUCOM meeting comes days after Turkish and U.S. military forces began jointly patrolling in northern Syria as part of a plan to establish a safe zone along the Syrian border.

Speaking in Ankara, Cavusoglu said that the United States' approach to the agreement has been unsatisfactory and that the steps it has taken have only been "cosmetic".

Turkey has been urgent for the zone to keep the Syrian Kurdish fighters absent from the border.

He was referring to recent joint Turkish-U.S. helicopter patrols of the planned safe zone region, as well as a joint ground forces patrol that took place on Sunday.

He said Turkey and the United States needed to establish a "safe area" in northern Syria as soon as possible. Turkey wants the operations to expand rapidly and push back Kurdish forces 20 miles (32 km) from the border, creating a zone which Ankara says should be controlled by Turkish troops.

The United States was warned against any delay in removing the YPG positions from the border area, citing previous warnings that Ankara was ready to launch unilateral actions against the group.

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The YPG, which has been the main U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, is considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, which says it is an extension of Kurdish militants in Turkey.

Cavusoglu's remarks coincided with the arrival of two top USA military officials in Turkey for talks over the safe zone, said the Defense Ministry in a statement. USA troops on Saturday also done patrols with the local Syrian Kurdish-led forces, which irritated Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country can not cope with a new wave of migrants from northern Syria.

Activities for the formation of a safe zone in the northern Syria and east of the Euphrates are ongoing, the ministry added. The ministry claimed far more discussions would be held Wednesday at a joint operations centre near Turkey's border with Syria.

Turkey, the USA and the European Union recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

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