Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that his country is “working intensively” on the issue of the town of Manbij and the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. He threatened the PYD militants, which continue to dig trenches, to rout them.
Digging trenches and tunnels in Manbij and east of the Euphrates “will not stand in the way of Turkey’s resolve to eliminate the hotbeds of terrorism there,” Anadolu Agency quoted Akar as saying during his visit to Turkish forces deployed in the Qatari capital Doha.
“Whatever they dig, be it trenches or tunnels, when the time comes they will be buried in the trenches that they dug. There should be no doubt regarding this,” Akar added, referring to trench-digging activities by the PYD militia in the areas under its control.
Akar’s remarks came after abrupt announcement by President Donald Trump on Wednesday that he began a total withdrawal of US troops from Syria following what he said the end of operations against ISIS.
Chief US Defense Department Spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement: “The Coalition has liberated the ISIS-held territory, but the campaign against ISIS is not over. We have started the process of returning U.S. troops home from Syria as we transition to the next phase of the campaign.”
President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa last week said that the Syrian people continue to suffer at the hands of the Assad forces and other terrorist organizations, namely the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al-Nusra Front, and the PYD militia. He pointed out that any military operation to eliminate these organizations “will be welcomed and supported by us.”
The Free Syrian Army has already announced it stands ready to participate in the military campaign aimed at routing the PYD militants from east of the Euphrates. It said that about 15,000 FSA fighters will join the Turkish forces to oust the PYD militias from more than 150 points in northern Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Anadolu Agency)