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US, Turkey Conduct Third Joint Patrol in Northeast Syria

US, Turkey Conduct Third Joint Patrol in Northeast Syria

Friday, 4 October, 2019 - 11:30
Turkish armored vehicle participating in the joint patrol (AFP)

The US-led coalition said it has conducted the third joint patrol with Turkey in northeastern Syria. The patrol went ahead as planned on Friday, according to the coalition.

Washington said the deal reached with Ankara in August aims to address Turkey´s security concerns, the Associated Press reported.

Ankara views Syrian Kurdish fighters as an extension of a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey and wants them away from the shared border, calling it a "safe zone."

However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying on Thursday that his country does not think its efforts with the US to form the safe zone will yield the results it wants and is ready to take action itself.

For his part, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a phone call that Ankara would end its work with the United States on establishing a “safe zone” if Washington stalled on the issue, Akar’s ministry said.

“If there is stalling or delaying, we are fully determined to end this work,” he was quoted as saying, Reuters reported.

US and Turkish troops have so far carried out half a dozen joint air missions over the zone in northeast Syria.

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