US troops meet YPG members in Manbij

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 13.11.2018 21:51
Updated 14.11.2018 00:09

U.S. troops in northern Syria's Manbij came together Monday with the members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group led predominately by PKK-affiliated terrorists, for a dinner to mark the Veterans Day.

The U.S. has been cooperating with the SDF, an umbrella group consisting mostly of terrorists from the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), under the pretext of fighting Daesh.

The support remains a source of tension between Washington and its NATO ally Ankara, which has suffered from the PKK's decades-old terrorist campaign against the Turkish state.

"Together with the U.S. military we are still fighting to rid the world of the evil of terrorism and to establish peace and stability in Syria," said a statement by the General Command of the Manbij Military Council, which functions under the SDF.

Although the U.S. recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization, it denies the group's connection with the YPG despite the ideological and organizational links between the groups.

Meanwhile, Turkey and the U.S. have launched Manbij patrols as part of a road map that Ankara and Washington agreed on in June. The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the YPG from the district that is located west of the Euphrates river in order to establish stability in the region.

Ankara has long stated that it will not allow a terror corridor along its borders and asked for an acceleration in the implementation of the Manbij deal.

As the American holiday Veterans Day honors the end of World War I and commemorates veterans, the council added that they mark this day for all the fighters who have sacrificed their lives to ensure peace and global stability.

"These joint efforts are inevitably a reflection of the history of the U.S. military, which shares with our efforts in establishing peace and stability in Syria," the statement continued.

Turkey has long argued that partnering with a terrorist group, referring to the YPG, will not lead to prolonged peace and stability in the region.

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