U.S. moving toward Turkish view on Syria safe zone - Turkish defence minister

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Wednesday described ongoing U.S.-Turkey talks on a proposed safe zone for northeast Syria as positive and constructive, adding that Washington had begun moving toward Ankara’s view, state-run Anadolu Agency reported

Turkey has completed preparations for an assault on Syrian Kurdish regions south of its border, which are dominated by the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) and its affiliates. U.S. support for the YPG, which is a key player in the international coalition against Islamic State (ISIS), has driven a wedge between Turkey and the United States.

Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organisation due to its links to Kurdish insurgents in Turkey, and it sees the U.S. provision of military supplies to the group as cultivating a threat to its security.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shrugged off U.S. warnings and repeated his declaration that Turkey would soon launch a military operation against Kurdish-led militias in northern Syria.

On Wednesday, Akar said the talks had been “positive and rather constructive,” according to Anadolu. The U.S.-Turkey safe zone negotiations in Ankara are expected to finish on Wednesday afternoon.