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

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)

Turkey's defense ministry says 2 top US military officials are in Turkey for talks over Syrian 'safe zone'

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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