U.S. envoy Jeffrey arrives in Turkey to discuss U.S.-brokered deal regarding northern Syria

U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement, James Jeffrey, on Friday discussed the latest developments in northern Syria with Turkish defence officials in Turkey, Voice of America (VOA) reported.

Jeffrey held talks with Turkish officials on the application of 13-point deal made between Ankara and Washington after Turkey's incursion in northeast Syria, targetting previously U.S.-backed Kurdish forces and its affiliates.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9, initially pressing forward to clear an area between Tal Abyad and Ras al Ayn in northeast Syria of the Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its affiliate People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey sees as extensions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). 

The agreement stipulated the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the 32 kilometre-deep, 444 kilometre-long safe zone to be established along the Turkish border in northern Syria in the next five days. Turkey would be responsible for the thousands of Islamic State (ISIS) prisoners, and commit to protecting ethnic and religious minorities in the region.

However, the Turkish-backed rebels spearheading the country’s offensive in northeast Syria were accused of committing war crimes, abuses against religious minorities and U.S. officials have been assessing the issue.

The president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Anas al Abda also came to Turkish defence ministry during Jeffrey's meeting. But, there is no immediate information on whether U.S. envoy met with al Abda, VOA said.