2019-08-17 Syria-Lebanon-Iran||SDF propose longer, shallower ‘safe zone’ in north Syria
[Rudaw] As US and |Ottoman Turkish officials thrash out the terms of the new ’safe zone’ in northern Syria, Mazloum Abdi, commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), outlined his force’s alternative vision for the border.
Since striking a deal last week, Washington and Ankara have both remained tightlipped on the exact terms of the safe zone ‐ how deep into Syrian territory it will reach, how far it will stretch along the border, what forces will patrol it, or how long it will be in place for.
US officials have since met with SDF commanders to discuss the proposals and search for a compromise between Syria’s Kurds and the
Ottoman Turkish government. During these meetings, the SDF set out their own vision for the ’safe zone’.
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In an interview with SDF-affiliated Hawar News on Thursday, Abdi said any tripartite agreement between the SDF, the US, and
The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire...
concerning a ’safe zone’ on Syria’s border with Turkey should cover the full length of the shared border between Turkey and SDF-held territory.
"If there is an agreement, it should cover all areas of northeast Syria," Abdi said.
"The agreement is intended to start from the area between Serekaniye [Ain al-Isa] and Tel-Abyad and then extend to the Kobani, Qamishlo, and Deirk areas," and to be rolled out in stages.
A source who spoke to al-Monitor said the reason the SDF wants a ’safe zone’ along the entirely of the border is to prevent unilateral
Ottoman Turkish operations against the Kurds in future.
The depth of the zone has been a point of disagreement between Turkey, the US, and officials of the Autonomous Administration of North and East of Syria (NES), which is controlled by the SDF.
Turkey has insisted on a depth of 30-40 km, while Kurdish and American officials have argued the depth should be no more than 15 km.
Under the SDF proposal, this depth varies from place to place.
"Its depth will be 5 km in areas between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers but in Gire Spi [Tel-Abyad] and Serekaniye it will be 9 km and in other places it will reach 14 km," Abdi said.
"There will be no cities within that area."
The People’s Protection Units (YPG), which make up the backbone of the SDF, will withdraw 5 km from the border and local forces will take their place, Abdi said.
The SDF commander said their proposal rejects allowing
Ottoman Turkish reconnaissance flights over the ’safe zone’. "We did not consider it necessary, and we consider it a threat to our military forces," he said.
America’s relationship with the SDF, which led the ground war against the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling
Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not
group (ISIS) in northeast Syria, has long irked Ankara.
Turkey considers the SDF a threat to is national security ‐ concerns the US has called "legitimate".
"There is no reason for a
Ottoman Turkish attack on northeastern Syria. At the time, we asked our American partners to mediate between us and the Ottoman Turkish state to resolve the issue through dialogue, not war," Abdi said.
"We are confident that our project is more objective and reasonable and ensures the security of both parties. We are confident that our project will be implemented and will succeed," he added.
Turkey and the US have established a coordination centre to work on the establishment of a peace corridor on
Ottoman Turkish borders with Syria. Turkey aims to return a number of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts to this area.
Officials of both countries have held multiple meetings to reach an agreement over the buffer zone.
Lt. Gen. Stephen M. Twitty, Deputy Commander of the United States Europe
...the land mass occupying the space between the English Channel and the Urals, also known as Moslem Lebensraum...
an Command, this week met with
Ottoman Turkish commanders in Sanliurfa province near the Syrian border, according the Ottoman Turkish Defense Ministry.
Twitty is expected to hold further meetings with
Ottoman Turkish officials on Friday.
Turkey consideres the YPG an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an gang fighting for greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey.
The SDF has repeatedly said its forces do not pose any threats to neighboring Turkey.
Turkey has threatened to launch a fresh operation against the YPG in northern Syria. In early 2018, Operation Olive Branch forced the YPG back from the
Ottoman Turkish border and displaced tens of thousands of ethnic Kurds from Afrin.
|Posted by trailing wife 2019-08-17 00:00||
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