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Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu demanded from the United States (US) that the People's Protection Units (YPG) withdraw from Manbij, adding that Turkish forces "will shoot if they don't retreat".
"We will move to Manbij after al-Bab. The planned operation with local forces has not started yet", Çavuşoğlu said, and added that Turkey has been negotiating with the US about the operation in Raqqa.
US and Turkey: Differing Views on Manbij
In a statement, Çavuşoğlu said:
"Control has been gained in al-Bab. The purpose of the Operation Euphrates Shield is to clean Manbij completely and to hand it over to its residents".
Çavuşoğlu added Turkish forces and the US had different views on the operation in Manbij, and noted:
"We wanted to begin in Jarablus and move downwards, but the US argued that the operation in Manbij was very urgent and launched the operation with the wrong groups. And they had made us a clear promise: when the operation was over, YPG units would withdraw to the east of Euphrates river. It has been over a year now, but unfortunately, they have not".
"If the US chooses the YPG as an ally..."
Arguing that the US was jeopardizing the future of Syria by cooperating with the YPG, creating what Çavuşoğlu called at " a canton of terror", he added:
"This is important in terms of our national security. These are not US lands...Why should we confront US soldiers?...
"But if the US chooses the YPG as an ally, that is another thing. But we know that this is not the case. Our fight against the YPG or any other terrorist organization should not force us to be in opposition to the US. (YY/DG)
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