Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country is determined to clear the Manbij area in northern Syria and all areas east of the Euphrates from militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). In a speech to the Turkish parliament, President Erdogan said Turkey aims to make these areas safe.
In the same vein, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday said the United States and Turkey have started training together to carry out joint patrols soon in Manbij area, “The training now is underway and we’ll just have to see how that goes,” Mattis told a small group of reporters traveling with him to Paris. “We have every reason to believe the joint patrols will be coming on time, when the training syllabus is complete so that we do it right,” Mattis added.
The PYD-controlled areas have been witnessing frequent protests by local civilians against the PYD’s widespread violations. In its latest report on violations in Syria, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the PYD militia was responsible for the death of 31 civilians between March and June 2018. The monitoring group also said that it had compiled a list of at least 300 civilians who are currently detained by the PYD militia. Other sources indicated that the real number exceeded one thousand, including women and children in view of the daily arrests which have increased in recent months.
Ankara and Washington agreed on a roadmap for the Manbij Area in early June, including the establishment of security and stability in the area in addition to the withdrawal of all militias and the formation of local councils within 60 days. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)