Turkey says YPG will disarm as part of deal on Syria’s Manbij

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington, US, on June 4, 2018. (Reuters)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says once the Manbij model is completed, similar models will be applied to other areas of Syria that are under the occupation of PKK-linked YPG militants.

PKK-linked YPG militants will be disarmed under a roadmap drawn up by Turkey and the US for the group to leave Syria’s Manbij, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

The roadmap on Manbij was announced after a meeting on Monday between Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Mike Pompeo in Washington DC.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the YPG from the northern Syrian city and bringing stability to the region.

“Once [the implementation of the] Manbij model is completed, a similar model [is] to be applied to other areas of Syria occupied by the terrorist YPG group,” Cavusoglu told reporters in southern Antalya province.

The Turkish foreign minister said the roadmap was not “an international agreement” but rather “a bilateral roadmap.”

“No third country will have a say in the Turkey-US deal whether it is France, United Kingdom or Belgium,” he added.

Following a visit by former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ankara in February, Turkey and the US established a mechanism to address separate issues in working groups, including the stabilisation of Manbij and to prevent any undesirable clashes.

The first meeting of the working group on Syria was held on March 8-9 in Washington.

TRT World correspondents Hassan Abdullah in Ankara, and Oubai Shahbanderin Gaziantep, have more.

US military support for the YPG in Manbij, which hosts roughly 2,000 US troops, has strained ties between Ankara and Washington and has led to fears of military clashes between the two NATO allies.

Numerous studies, reports and statements – including some from US officials – have confirmed the YPG’s affiliation with the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by both Turkey and the US.

However, the US has viewed the YPG as an ally in the Syrian conflict against Daesh, while Turkey insists the YPG should play no part in the US-led coalition.

Source: AA
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