Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said last week that the United States was delaying The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) withdrawal from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, thereby failing to implement Washington’s joint plan with Ankara.
Since August 2016, Manbij has been controlled by Kurdish groups that liberated it from terrorist organizations, including the Daesh, which took it over in January 2014.
In June 2018, Turkey and the United States adopted a road map envisaging the US-backed YPG withdrawal from the city and passing control over Manbij to the Turkish and US troops. The Turkish government has long been seeking the YPG withdrawal from Manbij over security concerns, as it regards the YPG as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, listed as a terror organization in the country.
According to Reuters, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Hurriyet newspaper Tuesday on the flight back from his visit to Hungary that the deal between Turkey and the United States regarding the Syrian town of Manbij was delayed “but not completely dead”.
Since June 18, the Turkish and the US-led coalition’s forces have been carrying out independent patrols in Manbij.
On Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the US and the Turkish servicemen had started training for their further joint patrolling.
Turkey has been repeatedly claiming that the YPG’s presence near its border hampers its national security.
Earlier this year, it conducted an offensive against the Kurdish militia in Syria’s northern border city of Afrin. Ankara is also currently engaged in an operation to eliminate Kurdish strongholds in northern Iraq.