Friday, 22 March, 2019

Turkey eyes Kobane, Hasakah, Qamishli after Manbij

Turkish officials say troops will also make their way to Manbij's city centre Turkish officials say troops will also make their way to Manbij's city centre
Patty Aguilar | 21 June, 2018, 14:00

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has granted citizenship to thousands of refugees who have fled the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

"Coalition and Turkish forces have begun coordinated but independent patrols near, but not in, Manbij", spokesman Eric Pahon told the US media.

It was not immediately clear whether the independent patrols were separate from the joint actions agreed upon between Ankara and Washington earlier this month, but a spokesman for the Pentagon said the moves were being coordinated.

The Turkish army said in a statement that "patrol activities had begun" between Manbij and an area it controls after a 2016-2017 military incursion.

Turkey regards the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and has always been urging the United States to remove the YPG from Manbij, where about 2,000 US soldiers are now deployed.

State-run news agency Anadolu, headquartered in the capital, Ankara, said that Turkish armored vehicles have been patrolling "on the Manbij frontline".

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Earlier this month, Turkey and the United States endorsed a "road map" to overcome months of dispute over the city.

Syria's foreign ministry on Tuesday condemned Turkish military patrols around the northern city of Manbij, launched the previous day under a deal with the United States.

The patrols, in line with a roadmap devised by the USA and Turkey on the issue of Manbij, lasted around three hours.

"Now the YPG is leaving here (Manbij)".

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city and stability in the region.

Earlier, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that they would turn to other markets if the United States does not allow it to buy F-35 jets.

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