February 16, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
MANBIJ, Syria – US Secretary of State Tillerson speaking to press after meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu has announced that Turkey and the United States will work closer in northern Syria.
“We will closely coordinate on the final defeat of ISIS and other terror groups located in Syria,” he said.
“US and Turkey objectives in Syria are the same – defeat ISIS, stabilize the country, return IDPs, and support a political solution that results in a unified, democratic Syria with no internal divisions,” he continued.
During the press conference, Cavusoglu revealed that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will be withdrawn from Manbij in northern Syria, where a US military base is located, and was a major point of contention.
“US-Turkey coordination will start with Manbij. The US has promised the YPG will leave the Manbij region. Once the YPG leave, based on trust, we can take steps forward with the USA,” Cavusoglu said.
In light of this new understanding, Tillerson expressed hope of bettering relations with Turkey.
“US and Turkey are locking arms. We’re not going to act alone any longer… We are going to act together from this point forward,” Tillerson said.
The YPG are the Syrian branch of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), that both Ankara and Washington recognize as a terrorist organization. Despite this designation, the US has funded and supported the YPG in Syria.