Turkey and the United States will establish a joint operation center to coordinate and manage a planned safe zone in northeast Syria.
The Syrian government said Thursday that an agreement between Turkey and the United States over northeastern Syria represented a "blatant attack" on the country’s sovereignty and territorial unity and a "dangerous escalation.”
The agreement setting up a joint operation center to manage a strip of territory at the Turkish border showed the “partnership in the aggression against Syria,” state news agency SANA cited a foreign ministry source as saying.
"Syria expresses categorical rejection of the agreement announced by the US and Turkish occupations on establishing the so-called [safe zone] which constitutes a blatant aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and a flagrant violation of the principles of the international law and the UN Charter," a statement of the Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey and the United States agreed Wednesday to establish a joint operation center in Turkey to coordinate and manage a planned safe zone in northeast Syria, a move that appeared to reduce the chance of imminent Turkish military action.
The two countries gave few details of the deal, which followed three days of talks between military delegations and months of stalemate over how far the safe zone should extend into Syria and who should command forces patrolling it.
The proposed zone aims to secure a strip of land stretching more than 400 km (250 miles) along Syria's northeastern border with Turkey.
"This agreement has very clearly exposed the US-Turkish partnership in the aggression against Syria which serves the interest of the Israeli occupation entity and the Turkish expansionist ambitions and it unequivocally exposed the misleading and evasiveness which govern the policies of the Turkish regime," the statement continued.
Speaking at a news conference in Ankara on Wednesday alongside his Ukrainian counterpart, Erdogan said that talks with the United States had progressed in a "really positive" direction.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced last year that U.S. forces would leave Syria and began an initial withdrawal, and the two NATO allies agreed to create the safe zone.