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Turkey and United States to create "joint operations center" in northern Syria
An American soldier in Manbij, Syria, April 4, 2018. Hussein Malla / AP

After unsuccessful negotiations and insistent Turkish threats of military intervention against the Kurdish allies of the United States, Ankara and Washington may have found a compromise on northern Syria. On Wednesday 7 August, the Turkish authorities announced the establishment of a joint operations center for this region.

This announcement could be a disgrace after the recent upsurge of tensions between the United States and Turkey, formally allied within NATO but with divergent interests on the scene. Syrian. It comes after three days of intense talks with the United States, seeking to evade a new Turkish military operation in northern Syria.

The two sides agreed to "Take without delay the first steps to lift the concerns of Turkey", and "Within this framework to quickly establish in Turkey a center of joint operations to coordinate and manage the establishment of the security zone with the United States".

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Western support for Kurds

In recent days, Ankara and Washington have been discussing the creation of a  € œSafety zoneâ € Separating the Turkish border from certain positions of the People's Protection Units (YPG) – a predominantly Kurdish force from Syria – but stumbled on several points, including the depth of this area. According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, Hulusi Akar, the ultimate goal of Turkey is to create a "Corridor of peace" who "Guarantees that our Syrian brothers can return to their country".

Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world: more than 3.6 million of them are on its territory. Earlier, Hulusi Akar had described as  "positive » the talks with the United States, reported the state agency Anadolu.

Kurdish forces are seen by Ankara as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been in conflict since 1984 with the Turkish Army and is considered by Ankara "Terrorist organization". But YPGs are also the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab coalition that the United States and other Western countries, such as France, have supported and armed with. Against the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group and continue to support.

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