The Latest: Joint US-Turkish patrols in Syria’s Manbij begin

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar says joint U.S-Turkish patrols around the northern Syrian town of Manbij have begun.

Akar said combined patrols, that are part of a roadmap aimed at easing tensions between the two allies, began on Thursday.

Ankara and Washington agreed on a roadmap in June amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia that freed Manbij from the Islamic State group in 2016.

The U.S. and the Turks have been conducting independent patrols along the front line and joint patrols are considered a way to tamp down potential violence between the various groups in the region.

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2:25 p.m.

An official with a U.S.-backed militia says joint U.S.-Turkish patrols will begin within hours around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, part of a roadmap for easing tensions between the two NATO allies.

Sharfan Darwish, spokesman of the Manbij Military Council, told The Associated Press that the patrols will begin later Thursday.

Ankara and Washington agreed on a roadmap in June amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia that freed Manbij from the Islamic State group in 2016.

The Americans and the Turks have been conducting independent patrols along the border, and joint patrols are seen as a way of preventing violence.

The Manbij Military Council that administers the town says the Kurdish militia, which Turkey views as a terrorist group, left Manbij in July.

Categories: International News