By Kasim Ileri
Turkey and the United States have completed preparations for joint patrols in northern Syria’s Manbij area, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.
The patrols are part of a roadmap between Turkey and the U.S. that focuses on the withdrawal of forces of the PKK’s Syrian affiliate YPG to stabilize the city, which is in Aleppo province.
"Mission rehearsals and interoperability training for combined patrols outside Manbij city are complete," said Cmdr. Sean Robertson. "Both forces are resetting in order to begin combined patrols."
Without providing an exact date, Robertson said the rehearsals were grounded in synchronizing Turkish and American forces' ability to conduct patrols outside of Manbij.
"The mission rehearsals address safety and familiarizations with combined tactical operations," he said.
The training program included rehearsals of mounted patrol operations, weapons training, IED procedures, vehicle recovery, stabilizing traffic control points and situation de-escalation exercises.
Another spokesperson for the Pentagon, Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner, said the patrols "should be in shortly."
A defense official, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency that the patrols are expected to begin in "a couple of days" or in "less than a week".
*Servet Gunerigok contributed to the story