Turkish, US soldiers agree on implementation of Manbij road map
Turkish and U.S. military officials have agreed on the implementation of a road map that brings about the withdrawal of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the northwestern Syrian city of Manbij in accordance with a political agreement between Ankara and Washington early June.
“In accordance with the Manbij Roadmap and Manbij Security Principles, a series of meetings were held by Turkish and U.S. military representatives at the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, June 12-13,” read a joint statement made by the Turkish Armed Forces and the U.S. European Command early June 14.
“The U.S. and Turkish military officials who participated in the discussions agreed on a proposed Manbij implementation plan that will be recommended to senior U.S. and Turkish leadership for further discussions,” it read.
Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Commander of the European Command of the U.S. Curtis Scaparotti held a phone conversation earlier in the day about the results of the military talks in Stuttgart.
The military-to-military talks followed a deal between 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 certain 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.
The road map, whose timeline has never been formally announced but leaked by diplomatic sources to the media, foresees a three-stage process. The first stage from 0-10 days is about the completion of initial preparations between the military and intelligence officials from the two sides, the second stage from the 11th to the 30th day needs to finalize initial preparations and the final stage requires the full implementation of the road map within 60 days.
The joint statement by the Turkish and American militaries shows that the road map agreed by Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo is functioning well within the timeframe.