Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country expects a “safe zone” to be created east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria in a “few months.”
“We expect the promise of a security zone, a buffer zone aimed at protecting our country from terrorists to be fulfilled in a few months … Otherwise we will establish it ourselves,” Erdogan said in a speech in the eastern province of Erzurum on January 25, according to the AFP.
Erdogan added that the 1998 Adana agreement between Ankara and Damascus could be used to justify a Turkish military intervention in Syria to establish the safe zone.
A day earlier, the Turkish President said that the agreement should be reactivated. Many local observers viewed this statement as an attempt by Erdogan to use this issue as an excuse to resume some relations with the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin called on Ankara and Damascus to engage in direct talks on the Adana agreement in order to address current threats during the recent Russian-Turkish presidential summit.
“There is nobody who can say the agreement is no longer valid. Quite the contrary, Mr. Putin points out that this agreement can be crucial for our struggle against terrorism,” Erdogan said on January 24 commenting on Putin’s mention of the agreement, according to Ahval News.
Turkey and Syria where on the brink of war when the Adana agreement was reached. Under the agreement, both countries started cooperation in the fight against terrorism and established a monitoring committee.