US commander visits Turkey for talks on Syria
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (L) shakes hands with USEUCOM commander Tod Wolters in Ankara, Turkey, on Jan. 30, 2020. (AA Photo)
Tod Wolters, commander of the U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, visited Ankara on Jan. 30 for talks which primarily focused on Syria, diplomatic sources have told Hürriyet Daily News.
USEUCOM commander separately met with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler. Discussions covered the state of a safe zone established after a deal by Turkey and the U.S. last year. Turkey has established a safe zone 145 kilometers in length and 30 km in depth in northern Syria after the deal. The agreement came after Turkey initiated “Operation Peace Spring” in northern Syria against the YPG.
Turkey and the U.S. agreed on Oct. 17 to the withdrawal of YPG troops 30 kms south of the Turkish-Syrian border from between Tal Abyad and Ras’ul Ayn cities. Turkey halted its operations after Washington assured Turkey that the YPG terrorists had been pulled back from the said area.
After the withdrawal of the YPG, the deal between Turkey and the U.S. is upholding, according to information provided to Hürriyet Daily News from both the U.S. and Turkish officials.
Turkey’s purchase of Russian made S-400 anti-missile systems was another topic in discussions since the U.S. Congress urges sanctions. The U.S. officials continue to make efforts to convince Turkey to not use the Russian systems.