Turkey discussing offensive in Syria with Russia, US – official

Ankara is in discussions with Russia and the US over a potential military offensive in a region of northeast Syria controlled by Kurdish fighters, a Turkish defense official told state media on Tuesday. Turkey wants to set up a safe zone in the border area east of the Euphrates River after most US troops pull out. Ankara views the Kurdish YPG fighters as terrorists. “On preparations for the east of the Euphrates, which is still on the agenda, coordination with the US and Russia in particular continues,” Defense Ministry spokeswoman Nadide Sebnem Aktop said. Aktop was also quoted as saying that coordination between Ankara and Moscow over the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib, where the two countries agreed to establish a demilitarized zone, continued successfully “despite provocations.”