US-Turkish patrols begin in Manbij in northern Syria

Beirut - Joint Turkish and US forces started patrolling in the countryside of Manbij city in northern Syria on Monday, a monitor and a Kurdish source confirmed.

"The Turkish patrols are taking place north of the Sajour region, while the US patrols are taking place from the sites which are controlled by the Manbij Military Council in the south," Shervan Darwish, spokesman for the Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council, told dpa by telephone.
"The patrols of each party will move within its areas, without entering the other party's areas," he added.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the patrols started on Monday. 
The local Manbij Military Council is a multi-ethnic force allied with the Kurdish groups currently in control of Manbij.
On June 5, the Syrian Kurdish militia People's Protection Units (YPG) announced that it had withdrawn its military advisers from Manbij, a day after Turkey said it had reached an agreement with the US on the future of the area.
Manbij was seized from the Islamic State extremist group by Kurdish-led forces in 2016 with the support of the US-led coalition.
Turkey wants the YPG out of Manbij, but is also seeking to disarm the Kurdish group across all of northern Syria, raising questions about potential future tensions.
Turkey believes the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria and its armed wing YPG have ties with the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The YPG controls large areas in northern Syria on the border with Turkey.

Monday, June 18th 2018

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