Erdogan urges G20 to set up “safe zone” in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged world powers, during a G20 meeting, to set-up a “safe zone” in Syria, where Erdogan said there would be no fighting and which could help stem the flow of migrants and refugees from the Arab nation. The Turkish President also noted that he repeated a previous proposal, during a meeting with his American and Russian counterparts, to implement a “no-fly-zone” in Syria, a proposal previously-rejected by both Washington and Moscow.

“At the Antalya summit, we persistently told all leaders to establish a safe zone in Syria that is 95 km long and 40 km from north to south, and with this establishment of a safe zone we can solve the immigrant problem. We can accommodate them (Syrians) in this area. Now at this summit too, we have brought up this issue with all our friends.” / “A rapid establishment of a no-fly zone there (in Syria), and that was my suggestion to both Obama and Putin. This could be achieved with the coalition forces. We are in an effort to take this step,” said Erdogan.

Turkey, which hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, has long pushed for a safe zone to protect civilians but has found little appetite among Western allies, who fear such a move would involve a deeper military commitment. In a bid to protect its border, Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria some two weeks ago, and has since cleared Islamic State and Kurdish militia fighters from a 90 kilometers stretch of territory, which is equal to some 56 miles.