US efforts to create Syria safe zone largely ‘cosmetic’: Turkey Sep 11, 2019 0 238 12345 AFPAnkaraThe United States’ efforts to create a buffer zone in northern Syria have so far been largely “cosmetic”, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, as he accused Washington of stalling.NATO allies Turkey and the US agreed last month to set up the buffer zone in Syria to keep Kurdish forces away from the Turkish border, launching joint patrols in the area on Sunday.“There have been some joint patrols, yes, but steps taken beyond that... are only cosmetic,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara. The safe zone is intended to create a buffer between Turkey and Syrian areas controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).Although Ankara regards the YPG as a “terrorist” offshoot of Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey, Washington sees it as a crucial ally against the Islamic State group.Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also said the conduct of joint patrols was “correct” but “not enough,” adding that Turkey needed its own sources, not American intelligence, to confirm that an area is safe.“To follow the developments on the ground, our soldiers and experts must be in the field and we must confirm what’s happening based on our own sources,” he told reporters after a cabinet meeting.Cavusoglu warned the US against any delay in removing YPG positions from the border area, referring to previous warnings that it is prepared to launch unilateral operations against the group.Kalin said the safe zone must be created “as soon as possible” without any “delaying tactic”.Turkey is worried about a repeat of the Manbij deal it struck with the US last year. RELATED ARTICLES US says Iran’s failure to address IAEA concerns ‘unacceptable’ Sep 11, 2019 0 1126 More than 30 dead in stampede at Iraqi Shiite shrine Sep 11, 2019 0 344 Netanyahu vows to annex WB’s Jordan Valley if re-elected Sep 11, 2019 0 371 Lebanon urges US to continue mediation on Israel border dispute AFP Beirut Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun on Tuesday urged Washington to help mediate a solution to a maritime border dispute with Israel, as Beirut looks to start offshore oil and gas exploration. Aoun made the request .. Hezbollah says it downed Israel drone to boost deterrence BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s leader said on Tuesday his Iran-backed movement had shot down an Israeli drone in Lebanon for the first time to strengthen deterrence against attack by arch-foe Israel. On Monday, Hezbollah said it .. Hamas says it shot down Israeli drone in south Gaza dpa Tel Aviv/Gaza City The radical Islamist Hamas group claimed responsibility for the downing of an Israeli drone which fell in the southern Gaza Strip overnight. A spokeswoman for the Israeli army (IDF) confirmed that .. 250,000 Somalians displaced since January, says NGO Johannesburg: A quarter of a million Somalians have been forced to flee their homes so far this year because of drought, conflict and insecurity, according to a report released by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on .. Hundreds of Nigerians to take free evacuation from South Africa ABUJA: At least 640 Nigerians have signed up to take free flights home from South Africa after xenophobic attacks on foreigners, a spokeswoman for Nigeria’s president said on Tuesday. The flare-up in violence directed .. S Africa to ‘clamp down’ on hiring of undocumented migrant workers after attacks AFP Johannesburg South Africa’s security ministers on Tuesday vowed to put an end to the hiring of undocumented foreign workers as the country tackles a wave of xenophobic attacks that claimed 12 lives. Defence Minister .. AU condemns attacks in Burkina Faso that killed 29 Addis Ababa: The African Union (AU) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Tuesday condemned two attacks that killed 29 people in northern Burkina Faso over the weekend. “These attacks are the latest illustration of the ..