PYD/YPG will start to leave Syria's Manbij on July 4, says Turkish FM
Çavuşoğlu said the roadmap for a solution in Manbij agreed upon by the United States and Turkey is being implemented fully
News ServiceReuters, AA, Yeni Şafak
The PYD/YPG will begin leaving northern Syria's Manbij region as of July 4, following a month of preparations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday.
Çavuşoğlu said the roadmap for a solution in Manbij agreed upon by the United States and Turkey is being implemented fully.
The People’s Protection Units (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.
On June 12-13, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed on a plan for ridding terrorists and stabilizing the northern Syrian city of Manbij during a preliminary meeting for implementation of the plan at the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
On June 18, Turkish and the U.S. troops started coordinated but independent patrols in the region, which are still ongoing.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Armed Forces began a second round of patrolling in Manbij as part of the objective to rid the area of the YPG/PKK terror group.
The Manbij deal, which was made between Turkey and the U.S., focuses on the withdrawal of PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.
In the coming stages, the Manbij deal aims that a joint Turkey-U.S. patrol in the region is launched; the U.S. officials collect the heavy weapons of the YPG members, all terror members leave Manbij.
It also aims that the local administration and security forces, which will be formed by Turkey and the U.S., secure the peace and stability in the city.
Should the model prove to be a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.
F-35 jets to arrive in Turkey in 2020
The Turkish FM also pointed that F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. are set to arrive in Turkey in 2020.
The U.S. is preparing to deliver the first batch of two F-35 fighter jets to Turkey during a ceremony that will be held in Texas on Thursday, despite the Senate passing a bill blocking the delivery, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters in southern Antalya province, Cavusoglu said training for the Lockheed Martin-made jets will be carried out in the U.S. until 2020.
"There will be training works until 2020. The arrival of the jets in Turkey will be in 2020," the foreign minister said.
The U.S. Senate on Monday overwhelmingly approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act which includes an amendment prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, citing the purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia and detaining U.S. citizens as the reasons.
Later, Turkey announced that the delivery of jets will take place at a ceremony in Texas, with the jets set to come to Turkey once the pilots complete training.