United States and Turkish government officials have reached an agreement to a ‘safe zone’ near the Turkey-Syria border. The agreement is expected to strongly increase the scope of America’s air campaign against ISIS in Syria. The deal was announced early Monday. The agreement includes a plan to drive the Islamic State out of a 68-mile-long area west of the Euphrates River and reaching into the province of Aleppo that would then come under the control of the Syrian opposition.
If the United States fully implements the agreement it would lead to military aircraft within proximity of Syrian military installations and would also benefit the opposition force fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The agreement does not completely meet all of Turkey’s demands which have called for a no-fly zone but the safe zone could be used as a safe haven for the more than 2 million Syrian civilians who have fled to Turkey for refuge. The deal comes a week after Turkey approved U.S. forces access to fly out of its base in Incirlik. Turkish forces have continually flown missions into northern Syria. Officials are still working out some of the details including the Syrian opposition forces who are expected to hold the safe zone.
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