Manbij roadmap will be ‘part of political resolution’: Pompeo
The Manbij Roadmap agreement between the U.S. and Turkey about power-sharing in the northern Syrian city of Manbij will be “part of the political resolution,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June 27.
“They [Turkey] will ultimately be part of political resolution there and an important part. And we need to recognize that and do our best of work alongside them,” Pompeo told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on funding for the State Department, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
The plan was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo.
The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij and on stability in the region. Turkey deems the YPG as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement on June 24 that the two countries’ forces conducted patrols separately in the west of Manbij. The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began on June 18.
Tensions have existed between Ankara and Washington because of the U.S. support for the YPG in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria’s northern and eastern regions.
Turkey and the allied Free Syrian Army have taken the area around the town of Jarablus in northern Syria under control in August 2016, wiping out ISIL and the YPG.
Turkey also conducted “Operation Olive Branch” to control Afrin region starting from Jan. 20, clearing the YPG of all areas in the west of the Euphrates River.