Turkey, US conduct second joint patrols in northern Syria's Manbij

Published 08.11.2018 16:45

Turkish and U.S. troops conducted Thursday their second round of joint patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij, agreed on as part of a deal to rid the area of the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

Anadolu Agency (AA) reporters on the ground reported that the troops patrolled the area around Sajour River, which separates the Manbij frontline from the district of Jarablous, an area that falls under Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joints patrols on Nov. 1. Since June 18, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has carried out 68 unilateral patrols in Manbij.

As agreed on by the two NATO allies in June, Turkish and U.S. forces were carrying out separate patrols in Manbij. The joint patrols, however, are being seen as a way to tamp down any potential violence between the various groups in the area.

The Manbij patrols are part of a road map that Ankara and Washington agreed on in June to defuse tension amid demands for the withdrawal of the U.S.-backed YPG terrorists from the region in order to establish stability.

Ankara has long said it will not allow a terror corridor along its borders and pressed for the acceleration in the implementation of the Manbij deal.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children.

Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, aimed to eliminate the Daesh and YPG terrorist threat along the border in the northern Syrian regions of Jarablous, Al-Rai, Al-Bab, and Azaz with the use of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.

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