Kurdish forces to withdraw from Syria's Manbij
7 June, 2018The Manbij Military Council, a group allied to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria, said last Wednesday that the Kurdish YPG militia would remove its military advisers from the flashpoint town in the coming days. The town's militia said it was capable of preserving the security and the borders of Manbij against any external threats, adding that it would not accept any Turkish military deployment in the area.Earlier on Monday at a meeting in Washington, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed on a roadmap for cooperating over Manbij. The fate of the city has been a focus of friction between the two NATO allies because of the presence there of the YPG, the most powerful militia in the SDF, but which Ankara regards as a terrorist group. Turkey has been angered by US support for the SDF, and pledged earlier this year to drive Kurdish troops from Manbij by force, raising the possibility of confrontation with American forces in the area. The YPG forces helped drive the IS out of Manbij in 2016.