US acknowledges PKK/PYD presence in Syria's Manbij

Terror group leaves city after training of local security forces, US special envoy to Syria says

US acknowledges PKK/PYD presence in Syria's Manbij

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. presidential anti-ISIL envoy on Wednesday acknowledged the presence of PKK/PYD in the north Syrian town of Manbij in a departure from previous statements.

Announcing the withdrawal of the group from the city, which lies around 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of the Euphrates River, Brett McGurk tweeted: “Milestone: all #YPG units to depart Manbij & return east of Euphrates after local units complete training to maintain security after #ISIL.”

The YPG is the armed wing of the PYD, which is the Syrian wing of PKK. Turkey, the U.S. and the EU have listed the PKK as a terror organization.

Turkey has long called for the removal of the PKK/PYD from territory to the west of the Euphrates to prevent the group seizing territory across most of Turkey’s border with Syria. In September, the Pentagon said the group was withdrawing but Turkish intelligence reported that it remained in the region.

Local forces are now expected to provide security in areas cleared of ISIL.

“Our coalition is proud to train and support local forces to defend their home areas as the best formula to ensure ISIL can never return,” McGurk said, using an alternative acronym for ISIL.

He also tweeted that Syrian Democratic Forces, who are spearheaded by the YPG, were heading to Raqqah, ISIL’s de facto capital in Syria, while anti-ISIL forces were advancing into Mosul, the group’s stronghold in Iraq.

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Last Mod: 16 Kasım 2016, 15:10
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