Turkey is discussing with Russia and US a possible attack in Syria

File AFP

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Turkey is discussing with Russia and the United States a possible military offensive in a region of northeastern Syria controlled by Kurdish guerrillas, official media quoted a Turkish Defense Ministry official as saying on Tuesday.

Turkey wants to establish a safe area in the border area east of the Euphrates River after the withdrawal of most US troops.

The US military supports Syria’s Kurdish-led democratic forces fighting the remnants of the Islamic state organization, which declared a “succession” on land in Iraq and Syria in 2014. But Turkey considers the fighters of the Syrian Kurdish people’s protection units terrorists and has repeatedly threatened to launch operations against them.

“On preparations for the east of the Euphrates, which are still to be discussed, coordination with the United States and Russia in particular is continuing,” said Defense Ministry spokeswoman Nadeeda Shibnam Aktob.

The Anatolia news agency quoted Aktoub as saying that the coordination between Ankara and Moscow on the Idlib region in north-west Syria, where the two countries agreed to establish a demilitarized zone, continuing successfully “despite the provocations.”

Turkish Defense Minister Khulosi Akar said last week that Russian troops would begin patrols in the border area outside Idlib and Turkish troops would begin patrolling the area.

Turkey’s relations with Russia have strained Ankara and the United States, with Washington warning of possible US sanctions if Ankara, its NATO ally, moves ahead with a deal to buy the Russian S-400 defense system, which is not compatible with NATO systems.

Aktob said on Tuesday that the S-400, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would not back down, would be received in July and published in October.

The United States said Turkey was jeopardizing its purchases of Lockheed Martin F-35s and other defense industry deals, including a possible deal to buy Raytheon’s Patriot defense systems.

Aktob said Turkey and Russia were also coordinating joint patrols in the northern Syrian town of Tal Rifat, controlled by Kurdish-led forces.

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