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US, Turkey start patrols in Manbij

Combined patrols being considred to increase cooperation, Pentagon spokesman tells Anadolu Agency

US, Turkey start patrols in Manbij

By Safvan Allahverdi


The Pentagon on Monday confirmed the U.S. and Turkey are conducting patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij.

"In accordance with the Manbij Roadmap and Manbij Security Principles, coordinated independent patrol activities by Turkish and U.S. forces began June 18, along the demarcation line north of Manbij," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told Anadolu Agency.

Pahon said both parties are considering combined patrols with a commitment to increase cooperation based on conditions on the ground.

"The coordinated patrols are part of the commitment to long-term security and stability in Manbij, and the U.S. commitment to NATO ally Turkey," he added, noting that maintaining security and stability in Manbij is also important to sustaining momentum for ongoing Daesh operations in eastern Syria.

The Turkish army earlier in the day announced the start of patrols in Manbij by both countries' troops in line with a previously agreed roadmap for eliminating terrorists and stabilizing the area.

In a tweet, the Turkish Armed Forces said patrols were being carried out between Manbij and Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield area.

The roadmap was first announced after a meeting in Washington last week 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 the northern Syrian city and stability in the region.

Should the model prove to be a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives. 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.

Arabs account for more than 90 percent of the local population in Manbij. 

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