Turkish-US Patrols of Syria's Manbij May Start 'Today or Tomorrow'

Turkish-US Patrols of Syria's Manbij May Start 'Today or Tomorrow'

On Wednesday, the SDF said the Turkish attacks had forced it to suspend its USA -backed campaign against Islamic State near the Iraqi border.

"The joint patrol in Manbij between Turkish armed forces and the United States began today at 3.53pm (1253 GMT)", he told lawmakers.

The halting of the operation is a major setback for the U.S. and its allies and comes after Turkey threatened a new military operation targeting the Kurdish-led SDF.

The Turkish government sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a deadly insurgency in Turkey since 1984. Turkey and the U.S. agreed on a roadmap in June amid Ankara's demands for the withdrawal of the US-backed Kurdish militia that freed Manbij from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) group in 2016.

"The real importance of France & Germany going to Turkey to meet Putin & Erdogan is that they are effectively hiving off from the US", Joshua Landis, a prominent Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, wrote on Twitter.

Over the past two years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria to push YPG fighters out of territory west of the Euphrates in two separate military campaigns.

A designated and bilaterally agreed upon ground force commander will lead the joint patrols, the US-led coalition said.

"We have reached a certain point in the process for the supplying of S-400 systems from the Russian Federation in order to meet our urgent air defense system needs as soon as possible", he said.

More news: Pittsburgh shooting: Suspect expressed hatred of Jews

Both the European Union and the US classify the PKK as a terrorist organization, but they differentiate between the PKK and other Kurdish groups.

USA and Turkish forces began joint patrols in a contested area of northern Syria, a long-promised but often delayed operation aimed at reducing tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

"We will soon come down hard on the terror organization with more extensive and effective operations", he said.Turkish forces had already bombarded positions east of the river held by the YPG, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on October 29.

"We will destroy the terror structure east of the Euphrates River".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to crush separatist Kurdish militants operating in Syria along his country's border, seeing them as an extension of the separatist Kurdish PKK group classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union. "We have completed preparations and plans regarding this issue", Erdogan said in a speech to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party on Tuesday.

USA relations with Turkey, one of its closest allies in the Middle East for decades, have been strained nearly to breaking point in recent months by differences over Syria and a range of other issues. Erdogan has dismissed the Pentagon's concern that the military drive could compromise the battle against ISIS in eastern Syria, where the Kurdish force is a key combatant.

According to Agar, with this offensive Ankara is telling Washington that "either we take action together against the YPG or we will do so unilaterally".

"Offensive operations have been halted, defensive operations continue".

Related Articles