By Faruk Zorlu
ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish president on Sunday said his country offered to set up safe zone in northern Syria to the U.S. as it was presented to former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Speaking on last day of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's consultation and assessment meeting in Kizilcahamam, a retreat town of capital Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the setting up of safe zone in northern Syria was offered by Turkey to the U.S. President Donald Trump as it was also offered to the Obama administration.
Later, Trump agreed with Turkey and the U.S. brought up the idea of withdrawal from east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, Erdogan said, adding that the people around Trump have not followed these instructions yet.
"Unfortunately, terrorist organizations such as the PKK, PYD and YPG teem here [safe zone]," Erdogan said.
Erdogan said it is Turkey's right to question the delivery of 30,000 trucks loaded with weapons and ammunition from Iraq to the safe zone area.
"Because we share a 911-kilometer border line," he said.
Turkey plans to resettle 2 million Syrians in a 30-km-wide safe zone to be set up in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij.
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 terrorist YPG/PKK, a group the U.S. has sometimes been allied with, over Turkey’s objections.
Turkey has long championed the idea of terrorist-free safe zones in Syria. It has stressed ridding the area of the terrorist YPG, as well as resettling Syrian migrants currently sheltered in Turkey.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Sayın Trump döneminde aynı şekil ve daha sonra Trump bizim dediğimiz noktaya geldi ve ardından da Fırat'ın doğusundan çekilmeyi gündeme getirdi ama gündeme getirmeye rağmen Sayın Trump'ın yanındakiler bu talimata hala uymuş değiller. Ne yazık ki PKK, PYD ve YPG gibi terör örgütleri burada cirit atıyorlar. Irak üzerinden buralara gelen 30 bin tır silah yüklü, mühimmat, araç yüklü bütün bu araçlar kime geliyor? Niçin geliyor? Bunun hesabını herhalde sormak bizim hakkımızdır. Zira burada 911 kilometre sınır boyu bize ait. Biz burada sınırız ona göre de bütün hesabımızı yapmak durumundayız. Tedbirimizi buna göre almak durumundayız. Güvenli bölge olarak söylediğimiz ve harita da çizip gösterdiğimiz yerler, Sayın Trump'ın '20 mil' diyerek ifade ettiği o 30-32 kilometrelik derinlik, onun üzerinde yaptığımız çalışmalar ve hizmetler hepsi bu bölgede durumumuzun ne olduğunu göstermesi bakımından çok önemli. Bunu bilmeyecek kadar bunlar aciz ve zavallı."