An ongoing row between Ankara and Washington will not lead to a change in Turkey's military relations with the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition, British Army Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney said Tuesday.
Gedney, who is also deputy commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said at a news briefing via teleconference at the Department of Defense that Turkish forces are continuing their independent patrolling in Manbij, northern Syria, successfully.
The Manbij deal reach on June 4 between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), from the northern Syrian city and establishing stability in the region. Accordingly, the two sides will conduct joint and independent patrolling and monitor the withdrawal of the YPG from the region.
He added that joint patrolling with U.S. forces will take place once the training period is over.
Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın also stated yesterday that there is no disruption to the ongoing operations in Manbij, despite the recent row between Ankara and Washington.
"We expect [YPG] to withdraw completely to the east of the Euphrates," Kalın added during a news conference in Ankara yesterday.
U.S. military officials have previously said that the recent strained tensions will not affect the bilateral military relations, particularly the deal over Manbij.
Gedney also said Turkey is a very important member of the international coalition, comprised of 70 nations.
He was responding to a question on whether the recent spat between the two allies would see a change in the coalition's relations with the Turkish military that wou
ld affect such things as the use of the İncirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, where American troops are stationed.
"No, we've seen no change in our relationship with our Turkish allies," said Gedney.Turkey is "a troop-contributing nation
to this military coalition and a valuable NATO ally as well as a critical regional ally," he said.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey,
and is currently under house arrest in western İzmir province.
"There are things going on at the strategic level. But here at the operational level and tactical level, we've seen no change in our professional working relationship," Gedney added.