Turkish-US Patrols of Syria's Manbij May Start 'Today or Tomorrow'


In a speech to the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, President Erdogan said that the latest attacks marked the beginning of "more extensive and effective operations" against YPG positions east of the Euphrates.

The SDF said Wednesday that it had the right to defend itself, and "as a result, a Turkish military vehicle was destroyed". We have completed our relevant preparations, arrangements and planning.

"We have started active intervention operations against the terror organization in the last couple of days".

"I think Erdogan is going to increase the pressure on SDF because the U.S.is not willing to give him Manbij", said Fabrice Balanche, a researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Omer Taspinar is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on 21st Century Security and Intelligence and an expert on Turkey, the European Union, Muslims in Europe, political Islam, the Middle East, and Kurdish nationalism.

"We also call the global community to condemn the Turkish provocations in the safe areas in Syria, and we demand our partners in the worldwide Coalition to show a clear attitude and stop Turkey from launching attacks on the region", the statement added.

The Manbij Military Council that administers the town says the Kurdish militia, the People's Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey views as a terrorist group, left Manbij in July.

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The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the YPG terrorist organization, from the district that is located west of the Euphrates river in order to establish stability in the region.

"Unilateral military strikes into northwest Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us", US State Department Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters on Wednesday.

On the same day, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) whose backbone is the YPG, announced they were halting their offensive against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor's Hajin pocket following the Turkish aggression in Kobane.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said four Kurdish fighters were killed and six were wounded in the attack on Wednesday.

In June, Turkish and USA officials reached an agreement to conduct joint patrols in Manbij, which included joint training between US and Turkish forces around the Syrian town.

The Turkish government also demanded that Kurdish forces leave the northern town of Manbij, which was freed from IS by Kurdish-backed forces in August 2016.

The halting of the operation is a major setback for the U.S. and its allies and comes after Turkey threatened a new military operation targeting the Kurdish-led SDF. This assault has already forced Kurdish forces to retreat across the Euphrates river.