Skip to main content

Turkey claims progress on Syria safe zone

Despite claims from Ankara that Turkey and the United States are making headway on a safe zone in northern Syria, sources familiar with the talks say no tangible progress had been achieved and that Ankara's positive spin is likely inspired by empty US promises.
Turkish-backed Syrian rebels ride on trucks at Manbij countryside, Syria December 28, 2018. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RC12E3699180

Turkish officials claim Ankara and Washington have moved closer on a proposed safe zone in northern Syria following two days of talks with Jim Jeffrey, the United States’ top envoy for Syrian affairs.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar hinted at a breakthrough with reporters today, saying, “Mr. Jeffrey was kind enough to to come to Istanbul. We had a very useful, positive meeting. We put all of our arguments, proposals and demands clearly on the table and they listened with profound understanding.” Akar continued, “Having put forward the same views that we had in the past I was extremely happy to see that Jeffrey and his delegation have moved closer to our position. I see that in future meetings on bilateral issues, notably the safe zone, we will be moving even closer.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.