The United States is pressing its Kurdish allies in Syria to ease their resistance to allowing Turkish forces to deploy on their side of the Turkish-Syrian border, well-informed sources told Al-Monitor. The Turkish forces would be a part of the proposed safe zone in northeastern Syria.
US officials are pushing for “a limited number” of Turkish forces to be allowed to deploy on the Syrian side of the border, along a stretch of territory running from the east of the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, according to a senior official from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The source told Al-Monitor, “The subject has already been broached with us and we regard the presence of Turkish troops on our soil as extremely problematic and have made our position clear.”
The source said that the Donald Trump administration’s Syria envoy, Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, was expected to travel to northeastern Syria in the coming days, when he is likely to renew demands that Turkish forces be allowed to enter northeastern Syria.
SDF commander in chief Mazlum Kobane is known to be viscerally opposed to any intrusion by Turkish forces. But Kobane is also a firm advocate of maintaining the partnership with the United States, which puts him in a bind. Another SDF official told Al-Monitor that the US demand would never be accepted.
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