By Safvan Allahverdi
U.S. and Turkish defense officials met recently as part of an ongoing dialogue on the implementation of the Manbij roadmap, the Pentagon said Monday.
Pentagon spokesperson Adrian Rankine-Galloway said the meeting was held last week and also covered establishing security and stability near the northern Syrian city.
Rankine-Galloway told Anadolu Agency the talks were focused on the second phase of the roadmap which involves joint patrols in Manbij.
The roadmap was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from Manbij and on stability in the region.
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement Sunday that both countries' forces conducted patrols separately in the area between the Operation Euphrates Shield region in northern Syria and Manbij according to the roadmap.
The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began June 18.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including those of women and children. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.
Turkey has said the presence of terror forces near its border constitute a threat and has launched military operations and other efforts to rid the region of terrorists.
*Kasim Ileri contributed to this report from the Pentagon