Syria takes over key Kurdish-held town -- after Kurds asked it to

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Earlier this month, the Turkish president stated that Ankara was ready to kick off a military operation against Kurdish fighters in Manbij, but later said that the launch of the offensive would be postponed following a phone conversation with his USA counterpart Donald Trump, who chose to pull American troops out of Syria last week.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the report on Manbij passing under Damascus' control a "psychological operation", and said that the situation in the region remains unclear.

A Syrian army spokesman said the national flag had been raised in Manbij, re-establishing government control of the town after six years as an armed uprising against Bashar Al Assad that began in 2011 peters out. The talks will allow the two sides to "bring complete clarity and synchronise actions" going forward, Mr Peskov said.

"This is a positive trend", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call.

Ilham Ahmed said an agreement was being worked out with the Russians and the Syrian government that in case of a full US withdrawal, government troops would take over.

The threats triggered the US announcement of withdrawing troops from Syria. A timetable for the withdrawal hasn't been made public.

YPG terrorists walk on the rubble of damaged shops and buildings in the city of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 10, 2016. Turkey and its allied fighters have been massing troops around Manbij in recent days.

US military vehicles drive through a checkpoint in Manbij as they head to their base on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city
Turkish coordination with U.S. in Syria not limited to military coordination

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said Syrian government forces had arrived in the area and deployed in an area between the Manbij Military Council and Turkish forces.

The surprise decision to remove U.S. troops rattled allies and the U.S. Syrian Kurdish partners, who scrambled to find new allies to protect their Kurdish-administered areas in north Syria. But government officials have stated they wouldn't consider an autonomous area, a main demand of the Kurds.

Assad's forces claimed to have entered the northern Syrian city on Friday.

Mr. Trump said the main reason US troops were in Syria was to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and that ISIS had been defeated - a widely disputed contention.

President Donald Trump's decision to pull out some 2,000 USA troops, whose presence has deterred Turkey, has alarmed the SDF, which controls much of northern and eastern Syria.

A statement on the group's website said its forces would instead focus on the fight against ISIS to the east of the Euphrates River.

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