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Size of Buffer Zone

As questions emerge about the size of the alleged "buffer zone", fighting has broken out.

Of course, this had to be expected because Trump made an agreement with Turkey without the Kurds, one of the two main participants in the conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismisses reports of clashes as disinformation; calls for large safe zone.

Lovely. The Kurds want no buffer zone, but perhaps would settle for a small one.

The Wall Street Journal reports Syria Cease-Fire Tested by Fighting, Questions About Buffer Zone.

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The fate of the cease-fire agreement negotiated by the U.S. and Turkey in northeastern Syria was uncertain Friday, as skirmishes erupted between Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces and questions arose about the boundaries of a buffer zone from which the Kurds are expected to withdraw.

President Trump said his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told him in a phone call that “minor sniper and mortar fire” had stopped. Mr. Erdogan dismissed the clash reports as “disinformation.” A U.S. official said most of the fighting has ended but it would take time for orders to stop the combat to filter through the ranks.

The agreement didn’t specify the size of what Turkey refers to as the safe zone. But Mr. Erdogan said there should be no confusion that Turkey plans to seize control over a roughly 20-mile by 300-mile area stretching from the city of Manbij all the way to Syria’s border with Iraq on the east.

“This is what we call the safe zone,” Mr. Erdogan told reporters, circling the area on a large map with a laser pointer.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper didn’t comment on the size of the buffer zone, but said the U.S., which has withdrawn its troops from combat areas, would have no role in enforcing it.

To recap, we have a buffer zone of no specific size in which one of the fighting parties was not even asked to the table.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock