Syrian Kurdish YPG Says Will Pull Military Advisers From Manbij
The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Tuesday its military advisers would leave the Syrian town of Manbij, a day after Turkey and the United States said they had reached a broad agreement over the northern area, including a YPG withdrawal.
In a statement the YPG said its fighting forces withdrew from Manbij in November 2016 but military advisershad remained to work with the Manbij Military Council.
“We affirm that our forces will heed the call when necessary to offer support and help to the people of Manbijshould it be needed,” the statement added.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who discussed Manbij with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, said YPG personnel withdrawing from Manbij would be disarmed.
Turkey has been angered by US support for a YPG-dominated force in northern Syria and pledged earlier this year to drive the Kurdish militants from Manbij, raising the possibility of confrontation with US forces stationed alongside them.
At Cavusoglu’s talks with Pompeo in Washington on Monday the two NATO allies agreed a roadmap for cooperating over Manbij, without spelling out explicitly what steps they would take.
Speaking in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, Cavusoglu said joint work on the roadmap would begin in 10 days and be carried out within six months. He said in future the model should also be applied to Syria’s Raqqa, Kobani and other areas controlled by the YPG.