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Akar: Turkey to create safe zone by itself in N.Syria

"Akar:

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Turkey will have to form the safe zone in northern Syria by itself if it cannot come to an agreement with the US, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told his American counterpart on Monday (July 29), DS reported.

Akar held a phone call with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, telling him one more time that Turkey expects the US to fully withdraw its support from the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG)-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"If Turkey, US don't find common ground, Ankara will be obliged to create a safe zone on its own," Akar said.

In a statement, the ministry said Akar congratulated Mark Esper for officially becoming the new US defense secretary.

Akar reiterated once again that Ankara will not allow a terror corridor south of Turkey and that Turkey wants to assure safety and security of not only its country and people but also other religious and ethnic groups living in the region.

The defense minister also noted that Turkey is the only competent and efficient power to provide control over the planned safe zone in northern Syria.

He said that the safe zone should be created under the criteria that include retrieval of all weapons from the PKK/YPG situated in the safe zone, wiping off the terrorist organization from the safe zone which should be 30 to 40 kilometers in width, destruction of PKK/YPG's all tunnels, shelters, equipment and ammunition in the area which will be controlled by Turkey and the US in coordination.

Regarding the F-35 fighter jet program, Akar noted that Turkey was not just the customer of the project but also the investor and production partner, and that the program should continue as planned.

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