As talks between Turkey and the U.S. over the withdrawal of Peoples’ Protection Unit (YPG) terrorists from Manbij continue, French troops that were sent to Manbij following Operation Olive Branch were spotted in the YPG/PKK-occupied city for the first time as footage showed them patrolling Manbij alongside U.S. troops and PKK/YPG terrorists.
A convoy of French and U.S. troops that was deployed from the American military base in Kobani entered the northern Syrian city of Manbij.
The convoy was made up of ten Humvees, long-range missile launchers, radar and communications equipment, and medium weapons.
American and French fighter jets are also said to be on alert to fly to PKK-occupied Manbij.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria and stated that after the area was cleared of terrorists Manbij would follow.
In April, reports claimed that the French army was planning to increase its presence in northern Syria, as 50 senior French soldiers arrived aboard four planes in Syria’s Manbij, and held meetings with terrorists from the PKK-affiliated YPG, according to reports.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
Turkey to implement Manbij model in Syria, says FM
Turkey will implement the Manbij model in other parts of Syria, especially in the east of Euphrates River, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Friday.In a news conference following a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Mevlut Cavusoglu said he discussed a previously agreed-upon roadmap on Syria with newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo."We will implement the Manbij model in other parts of Syria, especially in the east of Euphrates [River] after approval of this roadmap. Thus, we will have taken a step together on an issue that causes tension in bilateral relations."Cavusoglu said that the foreign ministers had a conversation on approving a roadmap that would lead to the implementation of the Manbij model.Turkey's top diplomat refers to the Manbij model as Turkey's initiative to remove terrorists groups YPG/PKK from the region with the cooperation of the U.S.In a March interview with Anadolu Agency, Cavusoglu said that should the plan fail, Ankara would unilaterally take steps to "eliminate" the PKK-linked YPG from the Syrian border.On Friday, Cavusoglu recalled that the U.S. had promised not to provide arms to the YPG terrorist group and withdrawing their forces from Manbij."We saw that these promises were not kept. We created work groups to see if these promises were being kept or not," he said.Cavusoglu said Turkey would act with the U.S. in Manbij.
PKK’s presence in northern Syria a threat says Turkish PM
The PKK terrorist organization’s presence in Syria’s northern Manbij region is a threat to Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said late Friday.Yildirim made the remarks during a guest appearance on a local TV program."For us, the PKK’s presence in Manbij is a threat, a security issue, and must absolutely be resolved," he said.Yildirim said Turkey wants the PKK and its Syrian extensions the PYD and YPG to leave Manbij as the region's native inhabitants are Arabs, Turkmen and people from other ethnic groups."In this region, the PKK is making life miserable for residents. We say to the U.S. that this region should be cleared of terrorists. If they don't do this, we will do what is needed in terms of security,” he said, adding he hopes another Afrin operation won't be needed."Because the U.S. is there, Russia and other coalition forces are there as well. We don't want to cause any tensions within NATO. That's why first of all, we want to solve this issue with the U.S. But for us, the PKK’s presence in Manbij is a threat, a question of security which must be solved, and it will be solved somehow."The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including women and children.On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu referred to the Manbij model -- Ankara's plan to eradicate the YPG/PKK terror groups from region with U.S. cooperation."We will implement the Manbij model in other parts of Syria, especially east of the Euphrates [River], after the approval of this roadmap. Thus, we will have taken a step together on an issue that causes tensions in bilateral relations," Cavusoglu said.In a March interview with Anadolu Agency, Cavusoglu said that should the plan fail, Ankara would unilaterally take steps to "eliminate" the PKK-linked YPG from the Syrian border.On Friday, Cavusoglu recalled that the U.S. had promised not to provide arms to the YPG terrorist group and to withdraw American forces from Manbij.Cavusoglu said Turkey would work with the U.S. in Manbij.- Turkey shatters dreams of terror supportersYildirim attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at insurance firm Allianz's campus in Izmir province earlier Friday.During the event, he said Turkey is teaching lessons to those who are trying to divide and split the country both domestically and abroad.He said some countries that Turkey sees as friends are trying to form a terrorist encirclement on the country's Syrian and Iraqi borders, but they miscalculated because with the cross-border anti-terror operations under Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, Turkey broke up this encirclement and shattered their dreams.Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 this year to clear the YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin, northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region. On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin’s town center, which had been a major hideout for YPG/PKK terrorists since 2012.Turkey’s other cross-border operation, Operation Euphrates Shield, was conducted from August 2016 to late March 2017 in order to support coalition forces and eliminate terror threats along the Turkish border.Yildirim added that everyone should know that Turkey is not an enemy of anyone, but it gouges out the eyes of those who set their sights on Turkish land, the country’s flag and damaging the nation’s unity.
Turkish FM says YPG to withdraw from Manbij following meeting with US
Turkey will take steps together with the United States in Syria's Manbij region, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday, following his meeting with new U.S. Secretary State Mike Pompeo in Brussels. He added that there was no French presence in Syria's Manbij.“If the [determined] plan is actualized, the YPG terror group will withdraw from Manbij,” said Çavuşoğlu. The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.Pompeo reiterated Çavuşoğlu’s statement, saying that a common path on the Manbij matter would be reached between Turkey and the U.S. Çavuşoğlu added that he discussed the steps to take in the fight against terrorism in his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which he described as "beneficial."Çavuşoğlu stated that he had also discussed Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense systems with Pompeo. "We have taken the first steps and there is no return, but there may be different steps taken in the future," he said.He stated that Turkey could evaluate "good offers" for Patriot missiles or other air defense systems from allies.Last December, Turkey announced that it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by early 2020.Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo met in Brussels when the U.S. Secretary of State flew to NATO headquarters barely 12 hours after being sworn in.
French troops increase contacts with YPG/PKK terrorists
The French military has stepped up coordination with the YPG/PKK terrorists in parts of northern Syria held by the terrorist group.Late last month, leaders of the SDF -- which is, in fact, the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group -- met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.French media outlets later reported that France had promised to send troops to Syria’s northern Manbij region with the aim of supporting the SDF.In previous statements, the French Presidency said that Macron had voiced hope that “dialogue” might be established between the SDF and Turkey “with the help of France and the international community”.In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said: “If the remark [by the French Presidency] that ‘We can mediate between Turkey and the SDF’ is true, it far exceeds the capacity of the person who said it.Boots on groundAccording to information obtained by Anadolu Agency from local sources, French Special Forces arrived at a U.S. base in the YPG/PKK-held town of Rmelan -- located in Al-Hasakah province -- late Thursday night.According to the same sources, French military personnel frequently enter and exit Syria through neighboring Iraq.With the use of armored vehicles, French troops -- with the knowledge of the U.S. military and the YPG/PKK -- are also operating in and around Manbij, Raqqah and Deir az-Zor, where they frequently visit positions of YPG/PKK terrorists.French military personnel have also met with leaders of the terrorist group, to which France has provided weapons and military equipment, the same sources said.Five basesThe French military currently maintains a presence at five military bases in northern Syria in areas held by the YPG/PKK terror group, according to the same sources.More than 70 French Special Forces units -- working under the auspices of an international coalition against Daesh -- are now deployed at the Lafarge Cement factory near Mistanur Hill and the village of Harb-Isk in the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, the sources said.French forces, they added, are also conducting field operations alongside YPG/PKK terrorists.An airbase built by the U.S. military in Harab-Isk was later incorporated into the nearby cement factory.The facility is currently run by U.S. military personnel operating under the coalition, while a number of French troops are also stationed there.Meanwhile, more than 30 French troops are also operating with the terrorist organization in Syria’s northern city of Raqqah.Along with French Special Forces, the 1st Marine Infantry Paratroop Regiment and the 10th Paratroop Commando Force are also operating in the region.While these forces are technically stationed in Iraq, they frequently cross into northern Syria via the Simelka border crossing.