Jun 12 2018

Implementation of Manbij roadmap to be discussed this week - U.S. Defense Secretary

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Monday said that the country was ready to implement the roadmap agreed to with Turkey on Syria’s Manbij and the military implementation of the plan would be discussed later this week in Stuttgart, Germany,  Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

A road map on Manbij, which has been ongoing source of tension between the United States and Turkey, was announced last Monday following a meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Accordingly, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated the People's Protection Units (YPG) will withdraw from the northern Syrian city to the east of the Euphrates River.

"We are prepared to go forward with the collaboration....it starts with us knowing where each other's at, then patrols on each side...and then probably kind of collaborative patrols inside the pocket," the agency quoted Mattis as saying.

Turkey and the United States plan to work together to establish a local security structure and governance in Manbij.

Turkey recognises YPG as a terrorist organisation and analogous to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984. The YPG forms the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition in their fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the region.