Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the United States has not yet presented his country with an acceptable plan for northeastern Syria, three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested establishing a safe-zone along the frontier. In a speech to his ruling-AK party, The Turkish leader claimed that he remained hopeful of reaching concrete understandings with his American counterpart; yet warned that Ankara’s patience is limited vis-à-vis the Kurdish militias in northern Syria. According to him, “We have been having and will have deep and hopeful meetings with Mr. Trump however we cannot get the same level of efficiency in the low-level, diplomatic and military level. There is no satisfactory plan that is put before us concretely yet, of course we are loyal to our agreements, our promise is a promise. But our patience is not limitless. If terrorists are not removed from the northern town of Manbij in a few weeks, Turkey’s waiting time will end.”
Turkey, which amassed a significant military presence along its southern border with Syria, warned of an imminent invasion aimed at eradicating the Kurdish militias that it views as terror organizations. The United States, however, warned Turkey on several occasions to abstain from attacking the Kurds, whom serve as the primary ground force of the U.S. coalition against the Islamic State. Nevertheless, Turkish President Erdogan has demanded the establishment of a safe-zone that will remove all militants that are viewed by Ankara as a threat. To discuss the safe-zone, a meeting is currently ongoing in the United States, attended by ministers of countries that make-up the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, including Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.