Turkish troops have begun carrying out duties in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Monday, according to NTV. The broadcaster earlier cited local sources as saying Turkish soldiers had entered the outskirts of Manbij. The move is part of a deal agreed with the United States. Earlier this month, Ankara and Washington endorsed a roadmap for the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from Manbij and the deployment of Turkish and US forces in the region to secure the area.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Syrian Kurdish militia fighters were leaving northern Syria’s Manbij area. Turkey’s armed forces announced earlier that they had started patrols with US soldiers along the line separating Turkish-controlled areas from the town of Manbij. Ankara says that Kurdish YPG militia fighters are based there. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group. Erdogan made the comments in a campaign rally in the northern province of Ordu, Reuters reported. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Manbij “will be cleared” of the Syrian Kurdish YPG and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants as soon as possible.