World News

USA military delegation to visit Turkish General Staff

USA military delegation to visit Turkish General Staff

Turkey has accused the United States of dragging its feet over the creation of a buffer zone in northern Syria meant to prevent conflict between Turkish and pro-Kurdish forces in the country.

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

Turkey accused the United States on Tuesday of taking only "cosmetic steps" toward the creation of a so-called "safe zone" in northeast Syria and renewed Ankara's threat of unilateral military intervention to form a buffer area along its border.

Turkey has been urgent for the zone to keep the Syrian Kurdish fighters absent from the border. The Syrian government has condemned the patrols as a violation of sovereignty and global law. However, Ankara continues to distrust Washington's intentions as USA support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has continued.

The YPG has been a main USA ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Turkey is anxious about a repeat of the Manbij deal it struck with the USA a year ago.

More news: New EU executive line-up to tackle climate change, digital challenges

The US military delegation, headed by Lieutenant General Stephen Twitty, deputy commander of the US European Command (EUCOM), and Lieutenant General Thomas W Bergeson, deputy commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), will visit the Joint Operation Center in Sanliurfa, southeast Turkey on Wednesday.

The minister's comments came as two USA military officials were visiting Turkey for talks on what Ankara calls "safe zone".

Turkish drones started operating in northern Syria as part of the agreement.

The Syrian government condemned the joint US-Turkish patrols as a "flagrant violation of worldwide law".

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. This was stated today by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, quoted by Reuters.