Turkish, US army chiefs discuss Syria in Washington
This file photo shows Turkish Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler and his United States counterpart Joseph Dunford at a meeting in Polish capital Warsaw on Sept. 30.
Turkish Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler and his United States counterpart Joseph Dunford discussed security and stability in the Syrian city of Manbij as well as bilateral cooperation against ISIL, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Defense following the meeting of the two top soldiers on Oct. 15 in Washington, D.C.
Güler is in the U.S. to attend the Counter-Violent Extremist Organization Conference. He and Dunford were reported to have discussed regional security and the two countries’ fight against terrorism.
“The U.S. and Turkey enjoy a strong and continuous strategic military-to-military relationship as key members of the NATO alliance,” said the statement from the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on YPG militants from the city in the Aleppo province in northern Syria in order to stabilize the region.
Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the U.S.
Turkey has long pushed for the YPG’s removal from Manbij, where a sizeable U.S. force has also been deployed since early 2016.
Meanwhile, the Turkish defense minister said on Oct. 15 that Turkish and U.S. soldiers will begin joint patrolling in Manbij soon.
Speaking to reporters, Hulusi Akar said the joint training of Turkish and U.S. soldiers on the combined patrols in Manbij would be completed within a short time.
On Oct. 14, the Turkish Armed Forces shared two pictures on its Instagram account where Turkish and U.S. soldiers are seen together during training.
Last week, Akar announced the beginning of the joint training on combined patrolling activities in the region as part of the Manbij Roadmap and Security Principles.