Ankara and Damascus are in talks over the security situation in Syria’s northeastern region, the Sputnik news agency reported on December 16.
The region is split between Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is backed in the US-led coalition. Russian and Syrian government forces are also present in the region.
Major Haidara Jawad of the Syrian Arab Army, who has been representing Damascus in the talks, told Sputniks that their main goal is to re-activate the Adana Agreement.
Turkey and Syria signed the Adana agreement in 1998 when the two countries were on the brink of war. Under the agreement, Damascus committed to prevent terror activities against Turkey. The agreement also included terms on cooperation in the fight against terrorism and establishing a monitoring committee.
“The talks’ key points are the area east of the Euphrates, the Turkish military presence, the areas under the control of the SDF and the international coalition, in addition to revitalizing the Adana Agreement between Syria and Turkey, which allows the Turkish military to enter 35 kilometers deep into Syrian territory in the event of any threat to Turkish national security,” Maj. Jawad said.
The officer went on to say that much progress was made during the talks and that he “hopes that a solution will be reached.”
Just a few months ago, several reports revealed that the Turkish military and its proxies were preparing to launch a new military operation against the SDF in northern and northeastern Syria. Russian and Syrian government forces responded by boosting their military presence in the two regains.
The ongoing talks indicate that both Ankara and Damascus are willing to make concessions in order to reach a new understanding on the security situation in the northeastern region. Any agreement between the two will not likely be in favor of the SDF.