Turkey, US conduct fifth joint flight over northern Syria

Published 16.09.2019 15:49
Updated 16.09.2019 18:03
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Turkish and U.S. armed forces Monday conducted the fifth round of joint helicopter flights for a planned safe zone east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

Two Turkish and American helicopters took off from southeastern Turkey's Şanlıurfa, where the two armed forces have established a joint operations center. The helicopters then flew into the Syrian side of the border, according to Anadolu Agency (AA).

They flew to the Syrian side of the border.

The countries' armed forces had previously done four joint helicopter flights and a land patrol.

According to Turkey's Defense Ministry, the joint patrols were conducted as part of an agreement over the planned establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria.

On Aug. 7, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. They also agreed to establish a joint operations center.

The agreement also envisaged setting up necessary security measures to address Turkey's security concerns, including clearing the zone of the PKK and its Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG). The U.S. has supported the YPG in the fight against Daesh, regardless of objections from Turkey.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, which for more than 30 years has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants.

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