Manbij Military Council Denies Turkish Military Presence in City - Council Head
18:32 18.06.2018(updated 18:41 18.06.2018)
CAIRO (Sputnik) - There are no Turkish troops in the Syrian city of Manbij, however they are deployed in the area of the Euphrates Shield operation, Mohammed Abu Adil, the head of the Manbij Military Council, told Sputnik.
"As the Manbij Military Council, we have negotiated with the [US-led] international coalition for a week. We discussed the deployment of the Turkish patrols. Meanwhile, yesterday the last meeting between the international coalition and the Turks took place, and today Turkey has started [to deploy] patrols in the areas of the Euphrates Shield operation, but not inside Manbij," Abu Adil said.
Earlier in the day, Turkish media reported that the Turkish armed forces had occupied the outskirts of Manbij in line with a roadmap coordinated with the United States. NTV showed photos of armored vehicles with Turkish flags, which are said to be on the outskirts of Manbij. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim later confirmed that the Turkish troops had been deployed in the Syrian city of Manbij.
Earlier in June, the US Department of State said that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have endorsed a roadmap to ensure stability in Manbij.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said that the sides had agreed on a schedule of the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from the area under the roadmap.
Turkish troops, in cooperation with Syrian opposition groups loyal to Ankara, have participated in a number of military operations in Syria, mostly against Kurdish militants, such as the ongoing Olive Branch operation in Afrin and the Euphrates Shield held from August 2016 to March 2017. Damascus has condemned the Turkish military operations, saying they violate Syrian sovereignty.
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