Turkey says ready to create 'safe zone' for Kurds in Syria

Turkey says ready to create 'safe zone' for Kurds in Syria

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he responded positively to Donald Trump's call for a "safe zone" along its border with Kurdish-held Syria, the BBC reports.

The leaders spoke by telephone after Trump threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if it attacked a Kurdish militia when allied US troops withdrew.

Turkey regards the People's Protection Units (YPG) as a terrorist group.

On Tuesday, January 15, Erdogan told Turkish MPs he had agreed that a 32km (20-mile) deep safe zone "will be created by us".

There was no immediate response from Trump or US officials, nor the Kurdish authorities who control more than 400km of the Turkish-Syrian border.

However, the US president tweeted on Monday night that he had spoken to Erdogan to "advise where we stand" on the safe zone and efforts to eliminate the remnants of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria with the help of fighters from the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces alliance.

"Also spoke about economic development between the US & Turkey - great potential to substantially expand!" he added.

Turkey considers the YPG an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades.

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