Turkey, US hold joint helicopter flight over Syria

Turkish National Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that two Turkish and two U.S. helicopters conducted a joint flight over the in .

In a statement on social media, the ministry said the joint helicopter flight was part of the first phase implementations for the establishment of a safe zone in the region.

The first joint reconnaissance flight was carried out with a U.S. helicopter on Aug. 24, said 's National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar earlier.

Turkish and U.S. military officials reached an agreement on Aug. 7 that the in northern Syria will serve as a "peace corridor" for displaced Syrians longing to return home and a Joint Operations Center in Turkey will be set up to coordinate its establishment.

Turkey sees the establishment of the safe zone in northern Syria crucial and wants to be in control. Ankara seeks to eradicate YPG terror elements, which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Notably, Turkey is currently home to over 3.6 million displaced Syrians who fled the conflict-prone environment of Syria.

In a Thursday statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey aimed to settle at least a million of these Syrians to the planned safe zone along Turkey's border with Syria.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
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