Turkey Endorses US Call for Syria Safe Zone, Kurds Reject Idea

Kurdish officials say safe zone tantamount to occupation

President Trump’s proposal to establish a 20-mile wide “safe zone” in northern Syria was seemingly meant to limit the ability of Turkey to invade the country and fight the Kurdish YPG. Surprisingly, however, the plan has been endorsed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan described his Monday call with Trump as “quite positive,” and said the security zone will not only be established, but might by expanded deeper into Syria in the future. Erdogan termed this an “historic understanding” with President Trump.

Kurdish YPG officials, however, rejected the plan. They said that a safe zone would only be permissible if under the auspices of the UN, and if defended by an international force. They said letting Turkey set one up was “tantamount to occupation.”

Bedran Ciya Kurd, a Kurdish official, said that it might also be possible for a safe zone to be established with Syrian government troops present. The zone may serve as a place to house massive numbers of Kurdish refugees who are currently in Turkey, or who will be displaced by the Turkish invasion.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.