December 4, 2018 / 08:57 PM
Erdogan, Trump discuss 'clearing' Manbij of Kurdish forces

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed clearing Manbij in Syria of Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and recent developments in Aleppo on the margins of the G20 summit in Argentina.

 “Our relations with the US are based on strategic partnership. As two strategic partners, we had opportunity to elaborate the developments in the northern Syria, east of Euphrates, Manbij. We also had the chance to talk on Idlib but our main agenda is Manbij. We have discussed how we can clear Manbij of these organization while we reiterated our view on the Democratic Union Party (PYD)/YPG,” Turkish media quoted Erdogan as saying.

According to Asharq al-Aswat Erdogan reiterated his country’s frustration over Washington’s choice in partnering with the YPG organization, to eliminate another group, IS, stressing: “as Turkey, we witness this double standard on the terrorist actions both in our country and our neighbor Syria.”

"Terrorists, who act within Turkey, kill civilians and mess with terrorism, roam freely in Western countries under the name of political refugees and can even collect tribute," indicated Erdogan.

 “The supporters of FETO, who initiated the coup attempt and killed 251 of our people, are being protected by certain countries, notwithstanding of all the mounting evidence we have presented," he said.

Observers believe US behavior is worrying Ankara, particularly as Washington slows down the implementation of Manbij agreement to withdraw Kurdish YPG to East Euphrates and jointly oversee security and stability in the city until a local council is established.

They explained that the problem for Turkey is that the United States, through its existence and activity in Manbij, is allowing the YPG to enhance its strength and permitting the Kurds to establish a "terrorist state" on Turkey's borders.

Meanwhile, Turkish and US military forces completed the second round of training to carry out joint patrols in northern Syria’s Manbij area.

Turkish Defense Ministry said in a tweet on its account that the joint exercises come within the framework of the road-map concerning Manbij.

The joint exercises were launched in November and witnessed the deployment of 4 patrols during that month, after Turkey criticized the US for slowly implementing the agreement as agreed.

Reporter’s code: 50101