The U.S. is working to form a new coalition that could establish a safe-zone along the Syrian-Turkish border east of the Euphrates River, the Wall Street Journal reported on January 31 citing U.S. officials.
According to the officials, the U.S. wants some of its Western allies, including the UK, France and Australia, to lead the new coalition. However, the negotiations are still ongoing as they are yet to agree.
The safe zone would include a 32km deep pocket along the Turkish border inside Syria from the Euphrates River to the border with Iraq. The Wall Street Journal said that Washington is willing to support the zone by providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance using drones and other equipment, along with rapid reaction forces if needed. It could also provide logistical support including evacuating casualties.
The U.S. believes that such a safe zone would address Turkey fears while protecting Kurdish forces controlling northeastern Syria. It will also allow President Donald Trump to fulfill his promise to withdraw all American troops from the war-torn country.
Local observers doubt that this new plan would work as Turkey could simply reject it, especially if Kurdish forces are allowed to maintain a presence within the proposed safe-zone.