US, Turkey focus on second phase of Manbij Roadmap
U.S. and Turkish defense officials met recently as part of the ongoing dialogue regarding implementation of a roadmap for Manbij, a town held by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Pentagon stated on June 25.
he U.S. and Turkey, NATO allies, have diverged due to the YPG, with Washington supporting the group in the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) campaign but Turkey viewing it as a terrorist group with ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Pentagon spokesperson Adrian Rankine Galloway said the ministerial meeting on the YPG’s withdrawal from Manbij was held last week and it also covered establishing security and stability near the city.
Rankine Galloway told state-run Anadolu Agency that the talks were focused on the second phase of the roadmap, which involves joint patrol in Manbij.
The roadmap was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement on June 24 that both countries’ forces conducted patrols separately in the area between the Operation Euphrates Shield region and Manbij, according to the roadmap.
The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began June 18.