US and Turkey reach agreement over Syria's Manbij

US and Turkey reach agreement over Syria's Manbij
Turkey and the US have agreed to a plan for the contested Syrian city of Manbij, which is controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
2 min read
14 June, 2018
Syria's Manbij is controlled by the SDF [AFP]

Ankara has confirmed that Turkish and US officials have reached an agreement on the contested Syrian city of Manbij, ending months of tensions between the two countries on the issue.

The Turkish military issued a statement on on Thursday following a meeting between generals from the two sides at the US European Command headquarters in Stuttgart on June 12 and 13.

Ankara said the US and Turkeu reached an agreement on a "Manbij Implementation Plan", but provided no further details on what this might entail.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency said earlier that the plan will entail Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) withdrawing from the city.

Washington-backed SDF are in control of Manbij, which Ankara claims has links to banned Turkish-Kurdish terror group Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

US-backed Kurdish militia groups are expected to retreat to the east of the Euphrates River, meeting a long-standing Turkish demand.

Ankara considers the militia a terror group linked to Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey, although the Syrian Democratic Forces is made up of an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.

Turkey intervened in Syria's Afrin in January, capturing the provincial capital from the People's Protection Units (YPG).

The SDF have led an offensive on Islamic State group in Syria, capturing the organisation's self-declared capital, Raqqa last year.