Ankara Predicts YPG Withdrawal from Manbij Next Month

Ankara Predicts YPG Withdrawal from Manbij Next Month

Thursday, 14 June, 2018 - 07:15
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (AP)
Ankara - Saeed Abdul Razek
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu predicted on Wednesday that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) may begin withdrawing from the Syrian city of Manbij next month based on a recent roadmap reached between Ankara and Moscow.

Cavusoglu said: “We cannot say that the YPG started to withdraw from Manbij. They may begin leaving the area in July.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said that had it not been for Turkey’s operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch in northern Syria, Ankara would not have found a place for itself at the negotiations table on Syria, especially those linked to Manbij.

Turkish and American officials are expected to tackle the execution of the Manbij roadmap during a meeting in Germany later this week, announced Canikli and US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

Canikli stressed that the YPG will withdraw from Manbij according to the roadmap that was reached on June 4. Its implementation will be overseen by the Turkish and US militaries.

The deal also calls for the Kurdish fighters to hand over the weapons that were provided to them by Washington during the battle to combat the ISIS terrorist organization in Syria.

A civil council that reflects Manbij’s population will also be formed.

Canikli stated that Mattis had informed him that there will be no stalling in the implementation of the roadmap.

Furthermore, the minister stressed that the understanding with the US over the Syrian city will pave the way for cooperation in future efforts to rid other Syrian regions of terrorist groups.

Such a roadmap could not have been reached had the US not been convinced that the YPG was part of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), added the Turkish official.

Both Ankara and Washington deem the PKK as terrorist.

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