Turkish military enters Syria to begin joint US ‘safe zone’ patrol

Armed Turkish military vehicles crossed into Syria on Sunday and headed southwest with US counterparts to begin planned joint patrols to establish a “safe zone” along a border region mainly controlled by Kurdish forces.

According to the report by Reuters, vehicles with Turkish flags joined those in Syria with US flags some 15 kilometers (nine miles) east of the Turkish border town of Akcakale, near Syria’s Tel Abyad. Two military helicopters were seen overhead.

The region east of the Euphrates river is mainly controlled by Kurdish YPG forces, US allies that Ankara has labelled terrorists because it says they have links to Kurdish militants in Turkey.

After intensive negotiations, Turkey and the United States have also set up a joint operation centre but have so far disagreed over the zone’s depth and over the command structure of the forces to operate there.

The NATO allies have conducted multiple joint helicopter patrols over the area. Turkey, which hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees after eight years of war south of its border, hopes to resettle 1 million refugees in northern Syria.

“Our geography is an advantage, but we are at a disadvantage in terms of migration and terror,” Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a CNN Turk interview Sunday.

“If US forces can patrol in the east of Euphrates with our forces and can enter with their own troops, and if there are the (Turkish) observation points in Idlib (in northwest Syria), this is all due to the steps taken by Turkey.”

With US backing over the last four years, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance that the YPG spearheads has taken control of much of northeastern Syria from Islamic State militants.

Many of the inhabitants of the predominately Arab area that is expected to comprise the safe zone – including Tel Abyad, Ras al Ain and several Arab villages – had fled to Turkey fearing reprisals by the YPG on charges they had links to Islamic State.

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Cuban Ambassador Highlights Relations with Syria

Cuba's ambassador, Miguel Porto Parga, highlighted this Saturday in an interview with the national agency SANA, his country''s ties with Syria on the 54th anniversary of relations between the two nations.

In the information, the Cuban diplomat underscored the coincidences of both nations in the defense of sovereignty, independence and support for just causes in the world against the coercive measures of the United States.

Syria and Cuba are celebrating the 54th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this month at a time when they continue to face challenges and a common enemy represented by the United States, which imposes an economic embargo on the peoples of both countries, Porto said.

Our country, the ambassador stressed, will participate in the activities of the 61st edition of the Damascus International Fair despite the economic embargo imposed on Cuba, and explained that the Cuban pavilion will include Cuban products related to life-saving technology and medicines.

He also reviewed Syrian Cuban relations since the time of contacts between the leaders of the two countries, Fidel Castro and Hafez Al Assad, among other issues of mutual interest.

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Parliamentary Group for Cuban-Syrian Friendship : Syria will absolutely triumph over terrorism

Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for the Cuban-Syrian Friendship Santiago Badia affirmed that Syria will absolutely triumph in its war against terrorism.

Badia’s remarks came during a meeting with Syrian Ambassador in Cuba Dr. Idris Mayya.

Badia hailed the steadfastness of the Syrian people and army in the face of the conspiracy hatched against their country.

He expressed his country’s rejection of any foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs, underlining the importance of enhancing parliamentary relations between the two countries.

For his part, Mayya called for further strengthening the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries and for activating the work of the parliamentary friendship societies to serve the best interests of the two friendly peoples and countries.

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Erdoğan meets Merkel, Putin ahead of Syria summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Istanbul on Saturday ahead of a four-way Syria summit.

The summit on Syria, hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will see the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special Syria envoy, will also attend the summit.

During the summit, the leaders will address the Syrian conflict in all its aspects, focusing on the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement, and the political process, and harmonizing joint efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

The leaders will also discuss the Sept. 17 agreement between Ankara and Moscow to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

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Cuba: Backing Syria is firm Cuban decision

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz affirmed his country’s support for Syria in its war against terrorism.

During his meeting with Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi in Havana on Thursday, the Cuban Minister said that “standing by Syria and supporting it is a firm Cuban decision that is based on Cuba’s consistent policy of supporting friends and allies.”

The Cuban minister noted that the signing of a medical cooperation agreement contributes to enhancing the relations between the two countries in this field and allows the establishment of relations with Syria in other fields.

On Wednesday, Syrian and Cuban Health Ministries signed a medical cooperation agreement to strengthen relations in this field.

“It’s our duty to provide all kinds of help to the Syrian people in light of the current ordeal they are going through,” he said.

The Cuban official expressed  his confidence that Syria will triumph over terrorism thanks to the  sacrifices of its army and steadfastness of the Syrian people and their leadership.

In turn,  Yazigi, considered  the agreement as a “starting point for building a strategic partnership for cooperation in health field and the other fields, transferring  biotechnology and  importing medicine in both directions, training and exchanging expertise and researches.

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Cuban official reiterates support for Syria during meeting with Information Minister

Head of the Department of International Relations at the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee Jose Ramon Balaguer reiterated his country’s support for Syria in all fields, foremost in its war against terrorism.

Meeting Information Minister Imad Sara on Wednesday at the Committee’s headquarters in Havana, Balaguer praised the Syrian army’s sacrifices in fighting terrorism and aborting the conspiracy against Syria.

Minister Sara, for his part, said the army’s successive military wins have paved the way for jump-starting the reconstruction process and pushing the political process forward.

Syria’s national media has stood up to a media war waged against the country since the start of the terrorist war against it and managed to frustrate its goals, Sara stated, lauding the support to Syria by friendly media outlets which took it upon themselves to convey the facts about the Syrian situation to international public opinion.

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Al-Moallem and Marcelino: Syria and Cuba to continue coordinating stances in international circles in support of their just causes

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem on Wednesday met First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Marcelino Medina and the accompanying delegation, reviewing the friendly relations and historical cooperation between Syria and Cuba.

The two sides’ viewpoints were identical on the importance of developing and bolstering those relations on all levels, stressing the importance of coordinating the stances of the two friendly countries in the international circles in support of their just causes.

The latest developments in Syria and the region were also touched upon during the meeting.

Al-Moallem briefed the Cuban side on the efforts exerted by Syria in facing the fierce terrorist war waged against it by terrorist organizations backed by regional and international forces, which seek to dominate and control Syria.

He stressed that the Syrian people will continue their war against terrorism and its supporters.

Minister al-Moallem expressed appreciation of Cuba’s supportive stances to Syria, renewing Syria’s support to Cuba in facing the unjust US economic siege against it.

For his part, Medina affirmed Cuba’s continued support to the Syrian government and people in facing the terrorist war, thanking the Syrian government for its stance towards ending the unjust economic siege on Cuba, stressing that Cuba will continue supporting Syria in the international circles.

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