The Turkish plan is designed in part to house Syrian refugees in a secure area along its border with Syria, as well as to keep it free from Kurdish fighters it regards as terrorists.
The concept seems simple, in theory. But in practice – as conflicts from Bosnia and Rwanda to Iraq and Sri Lanka have shown – making safe zones work is more difficult.
What’s happening in north-east Syria?
After days of clashes with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Turkey agreed to pause for Kurdish fighters to withdraw beyond a range of 30km (18 miles).
Under a new set-up agreed between Turkey and Russia (the main power-broker in Syria), the resulting “safe zone” is to be patrolled by Russian and allied Syrian forces on either side of a stretch held by Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels.
US President Donald Trump hailed the deal as a “big success”, while Germany has floated the idea of using UN troops…