Manbij roadmap has been put into action – Erdogan

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Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters as he leaves a mosque after the Eid al-Fitr prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Ankara and Washington had agreed to a roadmap on June 4th for the withdrawal of the YPG terror group from Syria’s Manbij and for US and Turkish forces to carry out patrols in line with the agreed-upon deal.

The Manbij roadmap was announced after a meeting in Washington between Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The Manbij roadmap was announced after a meeting in Washington between Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday confirmed the Turkish Armed Forces in co-operation with US troops had begun patrolling the northern Syrian city of Manbij.

In a statement, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also announced the beginning of the mission.

TRT World’s Sara Firth has the latest from Turkey’s Gaziantep.

Armoured vehicles belonging to the Turkish army were stationed around Sajur river which runs through the town of Jarabulus, in the area where Operation Euphrates Shield took place and Manbij.

Turkey has said the presence of terror forces near its border constitutes a threat and has launched two cross-border military operations to rid the region of terrorists.

The first one, Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, was aimed at eliminating the terror threat along Turkey-Syria border, with the participation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.

This was followed by Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on January 20, to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from northwestern Syria’s Afrin region.

On March 18, day 58 of the operation, Turkish troops and allied FSA cleared the town of Afrin.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also confirmed that the Turkish and US forces had started patrols in the area.

“As of today, our Turkish soldiers have also begun their duty in Manbij. They are working with the US to liberate Manbij from terrorist elements,” Yildirim said.

The existence of a roadmap was first announced after a meeting in Washington last week between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

TRT World’s Ahmed Al Burai has more from Istanbul.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city in order to stabilise in the region. Should the model prove to be a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU — resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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