BEIRUT – The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
A Turkish official says his country has always supported the idea of safe zones in Syria but would need to review any U.S. plans before commenting.
U.S. President Donald Trump is directing the Pentagon and State Department to produce a plan for safe zones in Syria within 90 days, according to a draft executive order he is expected to sign this week.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu told reporters that Turkey has "seen the reports on a request for a study on the safe zone," adding that "what is important is to see the result of these studies."
He pointed to the Syrian city of Jarablus, where thousands of Syrians have returned after Turkish-backed opposition forces drove out the Islamic State group, as a good example of what can be achieved.
The Kremlin says a U.S. plan for safe zones in Syria should be thoroughly considered.
Asked to comment on a draft executive order that President Donald Trump is expected to sign this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, underlined the importance to "thoroughly calculate all possible consequences" of the measure. He noted Thursday that "it's important not to exacerbate the situation with refugees."
While suspending visas for Syrians and others, the order directs the Pentagon and the State Department to produce a plan for safe zones in Syria and the surrounding area within 90 days.
Safe zones, proposed by both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton during the campaign, were considered by the Obama administration years ago and ruled out, in part because of Russia's air campaign in Syria.