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Turkey’s Euphrates plans rely on Trump

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hoping to convince President Donald Trump to accept Turkey's demands about the planned safe zone in northern Syria.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds up a map as he addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - HP1EF9O183U9F
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Turkey is not fully satisfied with the joint operations center set up on the Syrian border in cooperation with the United States. In Turkey's view, the center restricts a comprehensive, all-out operation east of the Euphrates against Kurdish forces that Turkey considers a threat to its national security.

The Turkish-American joint patrols began Sept. 8, yet the depth of the area under patrol does not match Turkey's expectations. The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted on a safe zone with a depth of 30-40 kilometers (18-24 miles) while also articulating a new target: to transform the entire east of the Euphrates — from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor — into a “peace corridor,” and to transfer 3 million refugees from Turkey to the safe zone.

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