Turkish military conducts 15th round of patrols in Manbij

Published 17.07.2018 21:11
Updated 17.07.2018 21:12

The Turkish military conducted its 15th round of patrols in northern Syria's Manbij yesterday, as part of a deal with the U.S. to rid the area of the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

In a message posted on its official Twitter account, the Turkish General Staff said Turkish and U.S. forces conducted separate coordinated patrols in the area of Operation Euphrates Shield and Manbij.

The Manbij road map was announced following a meeting in Washington between Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early June.

The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began on June 18.

According to the road map, the YPG will entirely leave the region.

Sources on the ground have claimed that those who have retreated so far were high-level terrorists of the Manbij Military Council. Most of them had come from northern Iraq's Qandil mountain region, where the PKK headquarters are located.

The sources added that many of the YPG terrorists were still in the region, reportedly claiming to be from Manbij in order not to retreat.

Should the Manbij model prove a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.

Turkey has said that the presence of terrorist forces near its border constitutes a threat. It has launched multiple military operations and other efforts to clear the region of terrorist presence.

In line with the agreement reached with the U.S., Turkey has been expecting a complete withdrawal of the YPG terrorists in Manbij and surrounding areas. U.S. military support for the YPG in Manbij had strained ties between Ankara and Washington and led to fears of a confrontation between the two NATO allies since there were roughly 2,000 U.S. troops deployed in the city.

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