US military officials in Turkey for Syria 'safe zone' talks

Two men on a motorbike follow Turkish and American forces as they conduct their first joint ground patrol in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, seen in the background, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters, considered a threat by Turkey but U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group, away from its border. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
A U.S. soldier walks past a Turkish armored vehicle during the first joint ground patrol of America and Turkish forces in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers these Kurdish militias a threat, but they’ve also been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks during a rally in Malatya, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkish and U.S. troops conducted their first joint ground patrol in northeastern Syria on Sunday as part of a so-called "safe zone" that Ankara has been pressing for in the volatile Kurdish-administered region. (Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan salutes supporters during a rally in Malatya, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkish and U.S. troops conducted their first joint ground patrol in northeastern Syria on Sunday as part of a so-called "safe zone" that Ankara has been pressing for in the volatile Kurdish-administered region. (Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP)
U.S. soldiers survey the the safe zone between Syria and the Turkish border near Tal Abyad, Syria, on a joint patrol with the Tax Abyad Military Council, affiliated with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Once part of the sprawling territories controlled by the Islamic State group, the villages are under threat of an attack from Turkey which considers their liberators, the U.S-backed Syrian Kurdish-led forces, terrorists.T o forestall violence between its two allies along the border it has helped clear of IS militants, Washington has upped its involvement in this part of Syria.. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
A Syrian boy selling snacks looks at a U.S. soldier standing guard during the first joint ground patrol by American and Turkish forces in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers these Kurdish militias a threat, but they’ve also been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Turkish forces survey the so-called "safe zone" during their first joint ground patrol with U.S. forces on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers these Kurdish militias a threat, but they’ve also been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
A helicopter flies low over journalists gathered to film Turkish and American forces on their first joint ground patrol in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometers (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers these Kurdish militias a threat, but they’ve also been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's defense ministry says two top U.S. military officials are in Turkey for talks over a planned "safe zone" in northeast Syrian.

A ministry statement said a delegation headed by Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty, deputy commander of the U.S. European Command, and Lt. Gen. Thomas Bergeson, deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, would meet with Turkish military officials on Tuesday.

Their visit comes days after Turkish and U.S. troops conducted their first joint ground patrol of the "safe zone" that Ankara has been pressing for in the Kurdish-administered region.

Turkey hopes the buffer zone will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters away from its border. Turkey considers the U.S.-backed fighters terrorists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says rifts remain in the way Turkey and the U.S. envision the zone.

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