MESOP SUMMARY OF RELEVANT EVENTS : Turkey & Rebels Expand “Safe Haven” Near Border / Erdogan’s meeting with Merkel & Obama G 20 summmit – Talks & Arrangements

September 04 –  ERDOGAN OBAMA :  Turkey’s pro-Erdoğan Daily Sabah said the two delegations discussed issues such as “cooperation on regional terror threats, relations between Turkey and the EU [European Union], the refugee crisis, as well as the extradition of Fetullah Gülen”, the US-based cleric wanted by Erdoğan for supposed organization of the failed July 15 coup.

After the meeting, Erdoğan repeated his line on the intervention in Syria: “Turkey’s fight against all terror organizations, including Daesh [the Islamic State] and [the Kurdish militia] YPG, will continue with determination.”The Turkish President also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday.

Bolstered by an expanded Turkish intervention, Syria’s rebels expanded an area of control near the Turkish-Syrian border on Saturday, capturing about a dozen villages from the Islamic State.

Turkey — which launched its intervention on August 24 with aerial operations, armored vehicles, and special forces along rebels who crossed the border — sent in more tanks yesterday to open a new front near al-Rai. Al-Rai is about 55 km (34 miles) west of Jarablus, the town captured within hours of the initial Turkish-rebel operations.The Turkish-rebel intention appears to be to close the gap between the two towns, securing more than half of a “safe haven” proposed by Turkey in 2014. Ankara’s plan was checked since then by US objections, division within the Turkish system, and Russia’s intensive aerial intervention from September 2015. The Turkish-rebel offensive has also moved south from Jarablus to the Sajur River, taking territory from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Both sides are still in a rhetorical battle, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promising to clear the border of the “terrorist” Kurdish militia YPG as well as the Islamic State. However, clashes have eased since the Turkish-rebel force reached the Sajur River last weekend.