Turkish, US troops begin joint patrols in Syria's Manbij

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Russian state-affiliated news agency Sputnik quoted Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson as saying that the usa was "in touch" with both Turkey and the SDF to "de-escalate the situation" on Tuesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed Syria in a phone call on Thursday.

A convoy of about 30 troops patrolled northwest of Manbij along the demarcation line dividing Turkish-controlled territory from the area controlled by the us -backed Manbij Military Council, defense officials told VOA. When Turkey launched Olive Branch, the U.S. announced that it would not provide any military support to the YPG fighters in Afrin since they operated outside the realm of the US-led coalition's mission to defeat IS.

Turkey sees Kurdish elements of the SDF as linked to the separatist group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the USA identifies as a terrorist group.

Washington s support of the Kurdish People s Protection Units (YPG) militia in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria has strained already tense relations between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the US.

Turkey has expanded its military offensive to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, a move experts believe is meant to put pressure on the USA to accelerate the implementation of a plan agreed by the two countries in June.

Turkish forces have already forced the Syrian Kurdish forces from west of the Euphrates in two cross-border operations, in 2016 and 2018.

We will remind, on Sunday 28 October, the Turkish army inflicted artillery strike on the positions of Kurdish self-defense Forces near the town of Kobani in Northern Syria.

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The move has come just four days after the Syria summit in Istanbul, attended by the leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France.

The US State Department had quickly expressed its "concern" over the attack targeting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which form the backbone of the SDF.

"We will soon come down hard on the terror organization with more extensive and effective operations", he said.Turkish forces had already bombarded positions east of the river held by the YPG, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on October 29.

"We have finished all our preparations [and] plans ... regarding the issue", Erdogan added.

Instead of idling around in Manbij, we are determined to turn our focus and energy to the east of the Euphrates.

In an effort to alleviate the situation, the USA agreed to jointly control Manbij with Turkish forces, and Kurdish forces agreed to withdraw.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United Sates and the European Union, has its headquarters in the Kandil Mountains. It also envisions Kurdish YPG forces withdrawing from the town to the east of the Euphrates.

"Offensive operations have been halted, defensive operations continue".

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