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Erdogan Says Deal Reached With U.S. For Syria Border Zone 

Source: Al Jazeera

January 15 2019


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has reached an agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump to establish a 20-mile (32-km) secure zone along the Turkish-Syrian border, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). 

During a phone call the previous day, the leaders agreed that Turkey should establish a safe zone along the border, Erdogan said on Tuesday. 

The zone could be extended further in the future, the president said, as cited by Reuters. 

Erdogan called the deal a "historic understanding" but did not elaborate. The White House has yet to reveal details of the proposed zone. President Trump alluded to the plan in a post on social media Monday. 

The leaders also agreed on the importance of establishing a plan to prevent a security vacuum in the border town of Manbij, reported Turkey's Anadolu Agency. 

Trump also affirmed his intent to complete the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops in Syria, said the Turkish president. 

Turkey has vowed to carry out an operation against mostly-Kurdish militants in northern Syria and has been moving troops and weapons to the border over the last week. 

The phone call on Monday came after Trump threatened harsh economic measures against Turkey if it attacked U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. 

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