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Turkey Threatens New Syria Operation as US Shunned at Summit

Turkey Threatens New Syria Operation as US Shunned at Summit

US and Turkish forces have begun joint patrols in the area of Manbij, Syria, where Kurdish militia have been critical to defeating Islamic State fighters.

"We have completed all preparations for the east of the Euphrates".

"We have reached a certain point in the process for the supplying of S-400 systems from the Russian Federation in order to meet our urgent air defense system needs as soon as possible", he said. "We can come suddenly any night", he said.

According to some observers, there are fears within the Self-Administration-the Kurdish-led political authority that unilaterally declared its control over majority-Kurdish regions in 2013-of a repeat occurrence.

"The fighting between our forces and the Turkish side has become very intense now", the SDF spokesperson told Syria Direct on Wednesday.

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

The State Department said it was it touch with both Turkey and the SDF to deescalate the situation.

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In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the USA and the European Union, has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including those of women and children.

"Turkey will not be able to advance east of the river without a deal with the United States", he said.

The US military estimates around 2,000 IS fighters are holed up in and around Hajin along the Euphrates River valley in Deir el-Zor province near the border with Iraq.

Ankara and Washington agreed on a road map to stabilize Manbij earlier that month, amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of Kurdish militia who helped push Islamic State from the city in 2016. Erdogan has dismissed the Pentagon's concern that the military drive could compromise the battle against ISIS in eastern Syria, where the Kurdish force is a key combatant.

Turkey's Defence Minister recently announced that the USA and Turkey were set to begin joint patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij this week as part of a so-called "roadmap" agreement for the city, now held by the SDF-affiliated Manbij Military Council. The attendees - the leaders of France, Germany, Turkey and Russian Federation - notably "reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic" in a joint statement, which many observers saw as a not-so-subtle acknowledgement of the victory of Syrian President Bashar Assad, widely accused of war crimes.

"The terror group is digging trenches in Manbij as they have done in Afrin, despite promises made by the USA about PKK/PYD/YPG's withdrawal from Manbij", Akar told lawmakers in a planning and budget committee meeting. However, according to the SDF spokesperson, "there is a possibility" that a potential agreement could involve the distribution of both U.S. and Turkish troops along the border.

The PKK/PYD/YPG terror groups should know that they will be buried in their own trenches, Akar added.


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