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Syria safe zone: Can US reconcile conflicting demands of Turkey, YPG

A US delegation is visiting Turkey for "safe zone" talks amid the Turkish army's increasing activities along the Syrian border, which are signaling a possible new military operation.

An American delegation led by US Syria envoy James Jeffrey has arrived in Turkey for July 22-23 meetings with its Turkish counterparts to make progress in plans for a proposed safe zone, which is expected to provide a buffer between Turkey’s border area and parts of northern Syria controlled by Kurdish groups that Turkey considers a threat to its national security. The critical talks are expected to focus on five controversial points.

Moreover, the timing of the talks is telling because of three recent developments. One is that the leaves of Turkish soldiers serving along the border east of the Euphrates River have been canceled. Also, military activities have increased along the border area facing Kobani, which is under Syrian Kurdish rule. Finally, military fortifications around the area have increased expectations of an imminent Turkish operation in northeast Syria.

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