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Spokesperson for the US-led Anti-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Coalition Ryan Dillan has stated that the coalition forces will stay in Manbij and said, “We’ve openly conveyed to Turkey that we will continue our support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)”.
In the statement issued following the meeting between Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymon McMaster on the phone, it was said that “It is confirmed that PYD/YPG (Democratic Union Party/People’s Protection Units) will not be provided arms”.
However, speaking to Rudaw, Dillon said that they continue to support the SDF in fight against ISIS and “they provide the required arms and equipment”. YPG constitutes the main element of the SDF.
Coalition forces will stay in Manbij
In his speech, Dillon stated that the coalition forces will remain in Manbij:
“Turkey knows very well why the coalition forces are in this city. Manbij is behind the Euphrates River and under the control of the SDF. For this reason, we will continue to operate there unless instructed otherwise.
In response to the question that “Will you withdraw if Turkey launches an offensive into Manbij?”, Dillon said, “I cannot speak about a matter which hasn’t occurred”.
President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said that the target will Manbij after the operation into Afrin, and the operations might be expanded to the Syrian-Iraqi border. (TP/TK)