Turkish patrols in Manbij offer hope for homecoming

Erika Holt
June 22, 2018

Yildirim's comments came after the U.S. Senate on June 18 passed a Dollars 716 billion defense policy bill including an amendment prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

It was not immediately clear whether the independent patrols were separate from the joint actions agreed upon between Ankara and Washington earlier this month, but a spokesman for the Pentagon said the moves were being coordinated.

"Turkish troops patrolling Manbij will make positive contributions to people in the region", Alhaji told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Tuesday.

After Cavusoglu's meeting with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo in a visit to Washington in early June, both sides endorsed the roadmap to "ensure security and stability in Manbij", which was controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

An explanatory note for the Senate's version of the National Defense Authorization Act says that the ban on selling F-35 to Ankara comes due to the imprisonment of United States pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey.

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In a tweet, the Turkish Armed Forces said patrols were being carried out between Manbij and Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield area.

At present, local Manbij officials and their militias are in control of the city.

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist organization. The city is housing Kurdish militia fighters who Ankara says are anti-Turkey terrorists.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city of Manbij and on stability in the region. Erdogan made the comments in a campaign rally in the northern province of Ordu, Reuters reported.

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