Turkish Forces Begin Patrols in Syria's Manbij
The Turkish army has said its forces have begun patrols along the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, in cooperation with US soldiers in the area.
The announcement on Monday came after Turkish and US military officials agreed earlier this month to a plan for the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters considered “terrorists” by Ankara from the city.
The Turkish army announced on Monday the launch of the operation between Manbij and an area it controls after one of its two cross-border military campaigns along with Syrian rebels in the past two years.
“As per the Manbij Roadmap and Safety Principles previously agreed upon, independent patrol activities by soldiers of Turkish Armed Forces and US Armed Forces have begun on the line between (the Turkish-controlled) area and Manbij,” Turkey’s armed forces said on Twitter.
Addressing supporters at an election rally in the Black Sea province of Samsun, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “We had said that terror organisations will leave Manbij.
“We had also talked about patrol missions in Manbij,” he added, ahead of the country’s key presidential and parliamentary polls on Sunday.
According to Al Jazeera, Manbij was formerly controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group before being seized by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in 2016, a US-backed umbrella group dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).