Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a domestic broadcaster on Thursday that Ankara doubts Washington will assist it in creating a “safe zone” in northern Syria for some 2 million displaced people, hinting that Turkey was ready to stage a unilateral military offensive. “We think this ongoing process with the United States will not take us to the point we desire,” Cavusoglu told the Haber broadcaster on Thursday. “We must take steps to clear the terrorist organizations from our vicinity and return refugees there.” In the gunsights are a US-backed Kurdish militia that has been fighting against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Turks consider the militia a terrorist entity, claiming it assists an outlawed Kurdish group inside Turkey. On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said of the deadline: “Turkey cannot lose even a single day on this issue. There is no other choice but to act on our own.” Ankara, which already hosts more than 3 million displaced Syrians, is looking to avoid a further influx of refugees.
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