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Turkey calls on US to fulfill Manbij, Syria roadmap

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford talk removing PYD/YPG terror group from region

Turkey calls on US to fulfill Manbij, Syria roadmap


Turkey on Tuesday called on the U.S. to fulfill their roadmap for Manbij, Syria and remove PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, terrorists from the region as soon as possible. 

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler met with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford in the capital Ankara. 

During the meeting, the sides discussed taking back weapons from the PYD/YPG terrorists, and the fight against terrorist groups including Daesh, the Turkish defense ministry said in a statement.

Akar reiterated that Turkey is determined to take any measures needed for its border security and regional stability, saying the Turkish army is fighting against the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist groups and Daesh, not its Kurdish brothers in the region.

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 40,000 people, including many women and children. 

The defense minister added that Turkey has always respected the territorial integrity of both Syria and Iraq.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of PYD/YPG terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of northern Syria's Aleppo province.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij at the beginning of November.

Dunford also reiterated the U.S.'s commitment to Turkish security, according to a spokesman for the chairman.

"The senior leaders discussed the security situation in Syria, the completion of the Manbij roadmap, and the deliberate, coordinated effort to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Syria. They also discussed the importance of continued U.S.-Turkish cooperation on counterterrorism efforts to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS," Col. Patrick Ryder said in a statement, using another name for Daesh.

"The U.S. and Turkey enjoy a strong and continuous military-to-military relationship as key members of the NATO alliance," Ryder added.

*Kasim Ileri and Umar Farooq contributed to this story

Reporting by Sarp Ozer; Writing by Diyar Guldogan

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