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Turkey starts joint patrols with US forces in Syria’s Manbij

Published: Updated:

Turkish and US forces started joint patrols in the Manbij region of northern Syria on Thursday, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.

Earlier, Sharfan Darwish, spokesman for the Manbij Military Council in theUS-backed forces in northern Syria said that joint patrols between Turkey and the United States will begin in the coming few hours in northern Syria’s Manbij.

Manbij joint patrols are part of a road map agreed by Ankara and Washington in last June to defuse tensions amid Turkish demands to withdraw The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab alliance backed by the US-led coalition, which succeeded to expel ISIS from the region in 2016.

Both Americans and Turks have been patrolling along the Syrian border for some time, and the two sides regard joint patrols as a means of preventing violence.

In July, the Manbij military council that runs the city announced that the Kurdish special forces, the People’s Protection Units once stationed there, had completed their withdrawal.

On Thursday, Turkey Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that a total of 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to a swathe of land in northern Syria where Turkey carried out a cross-border operation dubbed “Euphrates Shield.” Full story