Turkish military patrols outskirts of Kurdish-militia dominated Syrian city
In corporation with US troops, Turkish armed forces have begun patrolling the Kurdish-held city of Manbij in northern Syria on Monday, in conformance with a US agreement to reduce tensions in the region.
The Turkish army released a statement saying that “patrol activities had begun” between Manbij and an area it controls after a 2016-2017 military incursion.
State-run news agency Anadolu, headquartered in the capital, Ankara, said that Turkish armored vehicles have been patrolling “on the Manbij frontline.”
Manbij is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish militia-dominated umbrella group that Turkey considers a terror group but is supported by the US, which has made the city a major flashpoint between the two states.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed on a road map for reduced tensions in the city earlier this month.
The move comes as Turkey prepares for tight presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday, with many analysts noting that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants a major foreign policy success to give him a final boost.