Turkish FM Vows Weapons to Be Taken From Kurdish Militants in Manbij

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the US hasn’t promised to declare the Kurdish militant group YPG a terrorist organization, while commenting on the progress of the joint work with the US on the roadmap of Syria’s Manbij.

“The work on preparing for implementation of the agreement on Manbij will begin within 10 days — we will decide, when the military will enter the area after the withdrawal of the YPG, how they will monitor it, who will govern the region.,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

 

The minister also stated that the roadmap for Syria’s Manbij should be implemented in Raqqa, Kobani, emphasizing that the joint work with the US in Syria is not an alternative to efforts with Russia.

“It is necessary to observe the criteria for ethnic composition as it was before the YPG entered the area. We told Pompeo that the United States had repeatedly failed to keep its promises on the YPG’s withdrawal, and if now, after agreeing on this roadmap, they again fail to fulfill it, this will once again spoil our relations,” Cavusoglu told reporters.

Cavusoglu explained that Turkey with Iran and Russia created de-escalation zones at the Astana talks, supporting the cease-fire regime. While in Manbij they are striving to clear a certain region from terrorists.

“These are completely different actions. This is not an alternative to our cooperation with Russia. We explain to Russians what we want and what we do, do not hide anything, it’s open work on the roadmap,” he noted.

Ankara and Washington have agreed on a withdrawal schedule for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the Syrian city of Manbij, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said earlier.

US-Turkish relations have deteriorated amid Ankara’s concerns over Washington’s support for the YPG, which is considered by Turkish authorities to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated a terrorist organization in Turkey.

Ankara has repeatedly blamed Washington for failing to fulfill its agreements regarding the withdrawal of the YPG, who seized Manbij from Daesh in June 2016.

Sputnik