YPG to withdraw from Syria’s Manbij, Turkey to monitor region: FM

Manbij model may be implemented across northern Syria if it is successful, says Turkey’s foreign minister

Ersin Çelik
10:39 - 30/05/2018 Çarşamba
Update: 14:15 - 30/05/2018 Çarşamba
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Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

The People’s Protection Units (YPG) will withdraw from Syria’s Manbij in line with early meetings between Turkey and the U.S., and Turkey will monitor the region, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday.

“If we can successfully actualize this, we may implement the same thing across northern Syria. The calendar will be determined on June 4. I believe the U.S. wants to sever its ties from the YPG/PKK,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Last week, Turkish and U.S. working groups, who met in Ankara, said they had outlined a draft for cooperation to ensure security and stability in Manbij.

The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). The U.S. has largely ignored the PYD/YPG links to the PKK, which the U.S., EU, and Turkey list as a terrorist group.

F-35 fighter jets

Turkey will meet its needs elsewhere if the United States bars it from purchasing Lockheed Martin's F-35 jets, Çavuşoğlu said.

"The pre-payments for this project have been made. This is a comprehensive agreement. It's not just purchasing, but also joint production," he added during a return flight from a visit to Germany.

Turkey has plans to buy more than 100 of the F-35 jets and last year the Pentagon last year awarded Lockheed $3.7 billion in an interim payment for the production of 50 of the aircraft earmarked for non-U.S. customers, including Ankara.

A U.S. Senate committee last week passed its version of a $716 billion defense policy bill, including a measure to prevent Turkey from purchasing the jets, further straining already tense relations between the NATO allies.

Turkey-U.S. ties

The foreign minister added that Turkey’s Incirlik Base would only be shut down if ties with the U.S. came to a breaking point. Incirlik Base is a strategic military facility in Turkey’s southern Adana province.

Çavuşoğlu also announced that Turkey's ambassador to Washington, who had been recalled for consultations after Israeli forces killed Palestinian protesters in Gaza earlier this month, would return to Washington.

#Incirlik Base
#Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
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