US and Turkish troops to patrol Manbij: Minister

US and Turkish troops to patrol Manbij: Minister

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US and Turkish troops to patrol Manbij: Minister

Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli (C) attended a NATO summit in Brussels on June 8. (Photo: Anadolu Agency)

Turkish and U.S. soldiers will patrol the key northern Syrian town of Manbij as part of a deal reached this week for the withdrawal of a Syrian Kurdish militia, Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has announced.

Speaking in Brussels after a NATO summit late June 8, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said he met his American counterpart James Mattis. "We had a very detailed, constructive and positive meeting on the Manbij roadmap," he said.

Turkey has repeatedly called on the U.S. to stop backing the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which it considers terrorists and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) within its own borders.

The U.S.-backed force has been instrumental in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and pushing them out of northern Syria, including in Manbij.

Canikli’s comments were carried by Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.

Manbij roadmap ‘to be turning point in US-Turkey ties’
Manbij roadmap ‘to be turning point in US-Turkey ties’

Nurettin Canikli, Manbij, Syria