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Ankara Rejects Syrian Regime Presence in Manbij, Criticizes Washington

Ankara Rejects Syrian Regime Presence in Manbij, Criticizes Washington

Sunday, 20 January, 2019 - 13:15
Manbij Military Council fighters take an overwatch position in the southern rural area of Manbij, Syia. (Reuters)
Ankara - Saeed Abdulrazzak
Turkey has reiterated its criticism for the United States for failing to fulfill its promises in regards to the withdrawal of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from the Syrian city of Manbij.

According to a statement by Turkey’s Defense Ministry on Saturday, the United States has failed to remove Kurdish forces from Manbij and keep its side of the “roadmap” agreed on by Turkish and US officials in 2018.

"The promises made in Manbij weren't kept, the YPG and PKK are two sides of the same coin,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as telling Lindsay Graham during a visit to Ankara by the US senator.

“Turkey is fighting PKK, YPG and ISIS terror groups," Akar stressed, adding that Turkey “would not allow the establishment of a terror corridor along its southern border, and the two countries would solve the problems by working together.”

Ankara accuses the United States of lagging the implementation of the road map agreement in Manbij that was signed between the two sides on June 4.

The agreement stipulates the withdrawal of YPG forces from Manbaj to the east of the Euphrates and a joint supervision of the area’s security and stability until the formation of a local council to manage it. It was to be implemented within 90 days.

Following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his country’s troops from Syria, Ankara announced that this withdrawal will not affect Manbij’s agreement and that YPG forces will withdraw from the city before that.

It expressed its rejection of the deployment of Syrian regime forces in Manbij after YPG proposed that the regime reenter the town to fill the vacuum caused by the withdrawal of US troops.

"The YPG's efforts to stick the regime in Manbij must absolutely not be allowed," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said during a press conference in Ankara.

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