Turkey's defence chief, high-level commanders visit Sanliurfa to inspect troops preparing to set up joint operations centre.

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar arrives in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa on August 16, 2019.
Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar arrives in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa on August 16, 2019. (AA)

A joint Turkish-US operation centre to establish and manage a safe zone in northeast Syria will be fully operational next week, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday.

Ankara and Washington have also agreed in general terms about control and coordination of air space in the region, Akar said.

"There is no reason or justification for our allies to collaborate with terrorists [YPG/PKK]. We expect this to end as soon as possible," he added.

Earlier, Turkish military chiefs arrived at the country's southeastern border on Friday to inspect the troops ahead of a planned safe zone in Syria.

Akar along with Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler, and commanders of the land, air, and naval forces arrived in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa to inspect troops preparing for the set up of a Turkish-US Joint Operations Center.

The team was welcomed by high-level commanders at Sanliurfa’s airport.

A six-member US team also arrived in the southeastern province on August 12.

"The Joint Operations Center is projected to start functioning in the coming days," the National Defense Ministry said in a statement following the arrival of the US delegation.

Turkish and US military officials on August 7 agreed to set up a safe zone and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians, who are longing to return their home. They also agreed to establish a joint operations centre.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the preliminary Turkey-US agreement on a safe zone is just a beginning and many topics need detailing.

The agreement also envisaged setting up necessary security measures to address Turkey's security concerns.

He said: "The aim here is to establish a safe zone and [US President Donald] Trump made a promise for [a depth of] 20 miles [32 kilometres]," adding that the region could only be "safe" after it was cleared of the YPG and PKK terrorist groups.

Noting that Turkish unmanned aircraft had begun flights over the region, Cavusoglu underlined that observation points would be erected and joint patrols conducted in the area.

The YPG/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group, which has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants, for more than 30 years.

Source: AA