Military Capabilities

Syrian border ‘safe zone’ receives mixed reception

18 January 2019

Ankara has embraced the proposed establishment of a 32 km-deep ‘safe zone’ inside northeast Syria, but other major actors are opposed to an expanded Turkish military presence in the country.

US President Donald Trump mentioned a safe zone in a 13 January tweet in which he also threatened to “devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds”, a reference to Ankara’s apparent determination to attack the Syrian Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG) that it considers to be terrorists despite the central role the forces have played in fighting the Islamic State. “Likewise, [I] do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey,” Trump added.

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