The Syrian regime has been present in Arimah, west of Manbij, since 2017, Turkey's Defense Ministry said Tuesday, amid reports of the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG) handing over the town to regime forces.
"It has been observed that the activity in Arimah region, as part of developments in surrounding Manbij, belongs to Syrian regime forces which have been in the region since 2017. The developments are being followed," said the ministry in a tweet. Turkey's Anadolu Agency (AA) had reported Tuesday that forces loyal to Syria's Bashar Assad on Tuesday entered the country's northwestern Manbij region in coordination with the YPG.
It cited anonymous sources to claim that following a brief meeting with the heads of the YPG/PKK, 40 pickup trucks carrying regime forces, two tanks, trucks carrying military equipment and armored vehicles carrying troops entered Arimah. The YPG/PKK left the control of the town to regime forces.
Arimah lies between Manbij and the areas liberated in Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.
Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.