Turkish ground troops will enter a planned safe zone in northern Syria “very soon,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. Ankara opened a joint operation center with the United States for the safe zone at the weekend.

“We are slowly making progress in our efforts to establish a safe zone,” Erdogan said. “Just like many other issues some saw as untouchable, we are putting the east of the Euphrates issue on track,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Turkey has said that it would not tolerate any delays to the agreement by US officials, warning that it will mount a cross-border offensive on its own to clear its borders from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia if necessary.

Erdogan also said that Turkey had made all preparations to carry out its own plans if its expectations are not met. “Our UAVs and helicopters have entered the region. Very soon, our ground troops will also enter the region.”

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