Turkish, US army conduct 4th round of patrols in Manbij
The Turkish and U.S. armed forces carried out the fourth round of patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij as part of the deal between the two sides, according to the military on June 24.
The Turkish General Staff said in a statement that both countries’ forces conducted patrols separately in the area between the Operation Euphrates Shield region and Manbij.
The Turkish army conducted its first patrolling mission around Manbij on June 18, the second one on June 20, and the third one on June 22 for the implementation of a road map for the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, from Manbij.
The U.S. considers the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by YPG militants, as an ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
Turkey has long pushed for the YPG’s removal from Manbij, where a sizeable U.S. force has also been deployed since early 2016.
Military-to-military talks followed a deal between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 4 over the Manbij road map.
The road map, which has a set timeframe, suggests the withdrawal of the YPG from the city and the establishment of a new local council to be composed of mainly Arab locals.