US, Turkey negotiate Syria ‘safe zone’ against ISIS as Turkey targets Kurds
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The complex alliances in Middle Eastern conflicts took another turn Monday, as Turkish forces targeted Kurds who have been fighting ISIS in northern Syria, even as Turkey and the U.S. were negotiating plans to intensify the battle against the terror group.
… the U.S. and Turkey are finalizing plans to create an “Islamic State-free zone” with a military campaign to push ISIS out of a strip of Syrian territory along the Turkish border. The strategy would call for ISIS to be driven out of a 68-mile area west of the Euphrates River that would reach into the province of Aleppo, a center of opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Such a move would further embroil Turkey in Syria’s civil war and set up a potential conflict with U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. A U.S. official said the creation of an “Islamic State-free zone” would ensure greater security and stability in the Turkish-Syrian border region. But a senior Obama administration official told Fox News plans for an “ISIS-free zone” are still fluid.
“Details remain to be worked out, but what we are talking about with Turkey is cooperating to support partners on the ground in northern Syria who are countering ISIL (ISIS). The goal is to establish an ISIL-free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border with Syria. Any joint military efforts will not include the imposition of a no-fly zone. As the presidents discussed in their phone call on Wednesday, we will work in concert towards a political settlement to the conflict in Syria,” the unidentified senior administration official said.
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