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Turkey will launch operation in Syria if safe zone not established: minister

FILE PHOTO: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference in Riga, Latvia May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that if a planned safe zone in northern Syria is not established, and if threats continue against Turkey, a military operation will be launched east of the Euphrates river.

Turkey has been in talks with the United States over the establishment of a safe zone across its border in northeast Syria, where the United States supports the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara sees the YPG as a terrorist organization.

In an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber, Cavusoglu also said he hopes an agreement will be reached after talks on Monday with U.S. special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, who is visiting Ankara.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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