Preparations for a counter-terror operation in Syria, east of the Euphrates River, are proceeding as planned, Turkey's defense minister said Tuesday.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that talks will be held with U.S. officials in the coming days on the roadmap for Manbij, Syria.
"Work on the Manbij roadmap continues intensively," Akar told reporters ahead of the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara.
Turkey and the U.S. agreed to complete the Manbij roadmap before the U.S. finishes the withdrawal of its troops from Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said earlier Tuesday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has signaled that a cross-border operation against the terrorist PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria will happen soon. Since 2016, Ankara has carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria.
U.S. President Donald Trump last week made the surprise announcement that the U.S. would withdraw its troops from Syria. The action followed Trump's phone call with Erdoğan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.
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