September 09, 2019

Pentagon says it’s ‘on time’ with Syria safe zone despite questions

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Al-Monitor

Journalist Jack Detsch

The Pentagon insisted it was ahead of schedule in establishing a so-called "safe zone" Monday after conducting its first joint patrol in Syria’s northeast over the weekend, although the Donald Trump administration remained unclear on critical details about the area that will provide a buffer between Turkey and US-backed Syrian Kurds.

"Coordination and consultation between the US and Turkey are key to addressing Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in the region,” the US Central Command said in a statement Monday. “The US and Turkey are working together to rapidly implement the security mechanism and are on time or ahead of schedule in many areas.”

The statement comes after deputy chiefs from CENTCOM and the US European Command, which oversees American troops in Turkey, met with the Turkish general staff to discuss the safe zone. A Syrian Democratic Forces official told Al-Monitor that Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) pulled back from the border about 5 kilometers and up to 14 kilometers (3 to 9 miles) in some places, ceding the areas to local military councils.

Read the full story and more in Al-Monitor.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...