US, Turkish Troops Begin Patrolling Syria’s Manbij

US, Turkish Troops Begin Patrolling Syria’s Manbij

US, Turkish Troops Begin Patrolling Syria’s Manbij

United States forces and Manbij officials have repeatedly said that Turkish forces will not enter Manbij city itself, but will be confined to designated neutral areas, even within the joint patrols.

Earlier this week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, and SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said Turkish forces shelled and fired on an area near the Syrian town of Tel Abyad on the Turkish border.

The patrol took place around the Sajur River that divides Manbij and the region of Jarabulus, which was captured by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the militant Islamic State group in 2016 during Ankara's first offensive in northern Syria.

"We're fully supportive of the road map and the combined joint patrols, and I am confident they will be very effective", British Maj.

There are USA forces in the Sunni Arab-majority Manbij - which lies just 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of the Turkish border - and Washington has been closely working with the YPG in the fight against IS. He spoke to ruling party legislators.

A total of 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to an area in northern Syria where Turkey carried out a cross-border operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield, ' according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar".

The state-run Anadolu news agency says four Kurdish fighters were killed and six were wounded in the attack on Wednesday.

The two countries have been working to avert direct confrontation, even as Turkey aims to crush the Kurdish YPG militia.

U.S. support for the SDF has caused major tensions between Washington and Ankara, but those tensions appeared to be abating somewhat after the U.S. and Turkey negotiated a "road map" in regard to the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

The SDF says it lost 14 fighters, while the Observatory says the death toll was much higher. "Our forces are consolidating their positions defensively", he said.

The Americans and the Turks have been conducting independent patrols along the border, and joint patrols are seen as a way of preventing violence.

Palladino said that the United States has been in touch both with Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces "to emphasize the need to de-escalate the situation".

Sharfan Darwish, spokesman of the Manbij Military Council, told The Associated Press that the patrols will begin later Thursday.

Turkish forces this week struck several Kurdish militia targets near the town of Kobani in northern Syria.

It's unclear how a potential Turkish offensive east of the Euphrates would affect USA troops operating with Kurdish fighters there.

Akar warned earlier Thursday that "the terror group (YPG) will be buried in the trenches it has dug".

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