Turkey urges US to complete Manbij deal by the end of 2018
Turkey has urged the United States to complete the implementation of a bilateral deal that stipulates the withdrawal of all YPG terrorists from the Syrian province of Manbij by the end of 2018 and to expand the scope of the deal to the east of Euphrates River to avoid a confrontation between the Turkish and American troops.
“There is a delay in the implementation of the road map. It has to be completed latest by the end of this year,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the CNNTürk in an interview on Nov 23. Çavuşoğlu said he told this expectation of Turkey to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Washington D.C. earlier this week.
Turkey and the U.S. agreed on June 4 over a road map for the withdrawal of all YPG troops from Manbij to the east of Euphrates and for the establishment of a new city council by the local Arabs. Turkey has long been criticizing the U.S. for prolonging the process and violating the 90-day timeline.
Turkey believes the successfully implementation of the Manbij deal would also constitute a good formula for addressing same problems in the east of Euphrates where the YPG have the control along with the U.S. troops. Turkey considers the YPG as a terrorist organization and constantly calls the U.S. to terminate its partnership with the group.
Turkish troops shelled the YPG positions in the east of Euphrates in retaliation of harassment fires opened by the terrorists. “It seems our retaliation against YPG attacks has disturbed the U.S. We openly told them that we will respond as long as threats continue,” Çavuşoğlu stated.
US decision to establish OPs
Because of the continued support of the U.S., the YPG is now much more spoiled and as a result it is not only attacking on Turkey but also bullying Arabs and other Kurdish groups with different ideologies, the foreign minister stated.
“That’s why we told once again that YPG is a threat to us and we will do whatever necessary. We also have asked them ‘You say this group is under your control. Then how come they can attack on us?’ The announcement that they will establish these observation posts follows this. But if this move aims to protect the YPG, it’s obvious that it won’t bring any benefits to either YPG or the U.S.,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey does never want any confrontation between Turkish and American troops stationed just across the Turkish-Syrian border, he said, informing that necessary information on the coordinates is given to the U.S. military before any military operation into the northern Syria.
Çavuşoğlu reiterated that Turkey’s determinacy in holding a cross-border operation into the east of Syria is there but implementation of the Manbij deal in this region by securing the withdrawal of the YPG troops from all cities, including Kobane would constitute the best way to avoid military operation.
Russia cuts its ties with YPG
Complaining about the U.S.’ continued cooperation with the YPG, Çavuşoğlu argued that Russia, in fact, has cut its ties with the group.
“Russia has now cut its cooperation and dialogue with the YPG but the U.S. continues its cooperation with the group,” he stated. There were reports that the YPG and its political branch the PYD has a bureau in Moscow.