Soldiers from Turkey and the U.S. continue joint training on combined patrols in Manbij, northern Syria, the Turkish military said on Sunday.
The Turkish Armed Forces shared on its Instagram account two pictures where Turkish and U.S. soldiers are seen together during training.
Earlier this week, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has announced the beginning of joint training.
“As of today the Turkish and U.S. Armed Forces began joint training on combined patrolling activities, which will be held in the region, as part of the Manbij Roadmap and Security Principles,” Akar told Anadolu Agency.
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of the Aleppo province in northern Syria.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken 40,000 lives, including many women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.
The terrorist group has completed the construction of trenches and embankments in areas surrounding the entire city center as if it has no intention of leaving.
“They are now digging trenches in Manbij. What does this mean? It means ‘we’ve prepared the graves, come and bury us’,” Erdoğan said at a rally in southern Turkey.
“They said they would abandon the area in 90 days, but they haven’t. We will do what is necessary.”
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. was inked in June this year on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of the Aleppo province in northern Syria.
“There is no room for terrorists in Turkey’s future,” Erdoğan said.
Turkish security forces “cause great distress” to terrorist organizations, Erdoğan added.
Turkey pledges to launch a military operation against YPG/PKK in the strategically important city on Manbij that lies west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, as part of Operation Olive Branch. Manbij lies northeast of Aleppo but just south of the Turkish border.
Washington has claimed the YPG is a “reliable ally” in the fight against Daesh, while Ankara has pointed to its status as an offshoot of the PKK, a recognized terrorist group which has taken some 40,000 lives in Turkey.
The YPG/PKK terror group is also in the midst of a military buildup along Manbij’s border with areas liberated by Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016-2017.
The U.S. administration has supplied terrorists of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s Syrian affiliate, the YPG, with a total of 500 trucks of arms in Syria’s Manbij in the past week alone, despite a deal between Ankara and Washington for the withdrawal of the terror group from the city.
The Manbij roadmap between Turkey and the U.S. was agreed upon in June this year on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is in the northeast of the Aleppo province in northern Syria.
On Tuesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the joint training of U.S. and Turkish soldiers for patrols in Manbij had begun.