Allied militia agrees to hand villages to Syrian government

Turkish Naval Forces

The operation aims to provide security, support US -led coalition forces, and eliminate the terrorist presence along Syria's northern border with Turkey.

Reports have emerged of an aid convoy guarded by heavily armed Russian troops has made its way into a disputed Kurdish-held city, which appears to be the next target of Turkish-backed rebel fighters.

Russian and Syrian regime troops entering Manbij might be beneficial for the United States, as it could prevent Turkish and YPG forces - both of whom are U.S. allies - from fighting there.

The same day, YPG said it was going to hand over villages near Manbij to the Syrian regime under a deal agreed with Russian Federation.

"We expect the coalition forces, especially the USA, to keep the promises given to Turkey in this regard", Fikri Isik told journalists, adding that Turkey's priority is the city of Manbij.

In al-Bab, Turkish forces took the city, but Syrian troops took the immediate south, effectively cutting off any deeper Turksih advances.

"We do not wish any of our allies to stand with terrorist groups", Cavusoglu said.

The SDF includes the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, viewed by Turkey as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey. Clashes between Turkey-backed rebels erupted, but eventually both started moving eastward, toward the important, Kurdish-held city of Manbij.

The Manbij Military Council, part of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, says that under the deal, they will withdraw from a front line as rival Turkish-backed forces near the Euphrates River. Top Turkish officials are increasing pressure on the Trump administration to dissolve the American military partnership with Syrian Kurds in the battle against IS.



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