Turkey says 260000 Syrians have returned to 'Euphrates Shield' operation area

Russia-Turkey forum to be held in Antalya

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilise the region, which is in the northeast of northern Syria's Aleppo province.

Turkish and USA troops patrolled around the Saju Stream, which separates the Manbij frontline from the city of Jarabulus, an area falling under Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, according to Anadolu Agency reporters on the ground.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have announced a pause in their campaign against ISIS following clashes between the SDF and Turkish forces, according to two US military officials and a statement from the SDF.

The YPG militia posted a video on Twitter of what appeared to be a Turkish military vehicle being destroyed by a guided missile.

Turkish and U.S. troops patrolled around the Saju Stream, which separates the Manbij frontline from the city of Jarabulus, an area falling under Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, according to media on the ground.

Taspinar sees Ankara with the upper hand over Washington regarding the situation in northern Syria, but overall with the release of USA pastor Andrew Brunson and open communication in the investigation of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the two countries are diplomatically improving.

The SDF now controls more than a quarter of Syrian territory after its Kurdish dominated forces beat back IS jihadists with United States support over the past three years.

ISIS has been driven to just a few towns in the area and the USA and its coalition allies conducted 184 air and artillery strikes last week targeting the terror group's last remaining territory, striking command and control centers, weapons caches and vehicles.

"The fighting between our forces and the Turkish side has become very intense now", the SDF spokesperson told Syria Direct on Wednesday.

"The patrols can allow the U.S. to keep Turkey in line especially in the areas of recent Turkish bombardments against the SDF", Abdulkader told Kurdistan 24.

Russian state-affiliated news agency Sputnik quoted Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson as saying that the U.S. was "in touch" with both Turkey and the SDF to "de-escalate the situation" on Tuesday.

"Unilateral military strikes into northwest Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us", State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters on Wednesday.

The Pentagon has said the goal of the patrols is to support "long-term security in Manbij" and uphold its commitments to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey. The continuation of Turkish attacks, the group said, would further delay the offensive on the ISIS-held pocket of Hajin.

Following an exchange of cross-border fire, Turkish police seized a vehicle carrying more than 545 pounds of explosives in the southeastern province of Mardin, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The tensions along the border between US-backed forces and Turkey come despite Washington and Ankara agreeing in June to a "roadmap" to ease tensions around the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

Palladino said the U.S.is fully committed to Turkey's border security but at the same time expressed Washington's commitment to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian forces.

In a sign that neither side wants the situation to escalate, Turkish and US forces started joint patrols in rural areas of the northwestern Syrian town of Manbij, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said. Erdogan has dismissed the Pentagon's concern that the military drive could compromise the battle against ISIS in eastern Syria, where the Kurdish force is a key combatant. However, according to the SDF spokesperson, "there is a possibility" that a potential agreement could involve the distribution of both United States and Turkish troops along the border.

This week, Erdogan said: "The terror organization is digging trenches, they are preparing their graves". "After Manbij, our next venue will be east of the Euphrates", Akar pointed out.



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