PKK terrorists neutralized in east Euphrates in Syria
03 November, 2018, 04:52 | Author: Rachel Logan
Turkey and the United States carried out coordinated but independent patrol near Manuja.
Turkish forces have already forced the Syrian Kurdish forces from west of the Euphrates in two cross-border operations, in 2016 and 2018.
Turkey and the Kurdish-majority People's Protection Units clashed near Kobane along the Syrian-Turkish border with shelling and ground clashes Tuesday night and Wednesday, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened "more extensive and effective operations" against Kurdish-led forces east of the Euphrates River.
The head of Al-Raqqa Doctors' Syndicate, Jamal al-Issa, said the new mass grave includes more than 1,500 bodies who were killed by airstrikes of the USA -led coalition that gave cover to US -backed Syrian fighters who captured Raqqa from IS in October past year.
The US State Department said it had been in touch with both Turkey and the SDF to push for de-escalation.
"After Manbij, our next venue will be east of the Euphrates", Akar pointed out.
A convoy of about 30 troops patrolled northwest of Manbij along the demarcation line dividing Turkish-controlled territory from the area controlled by the US -backed Manbij Military Council, defense officials told VOA.
Both the European Union and the USA classify the PKK as a terrorist organization, but they differentiate between the PKK and other Kurdish groups.
The YPG, the dominant group and leader of the US -allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), controls almost all of the territory east of the Euphrates, including regions along Syria's border with Turkey.
The group also attempted to gain USA support against Turkey through blackmail. The campaign against ISIS "is not over and that fight remains hard", he said.
Turkey sees Kurdish elements of the SDF as linked to the separatist group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the United States identifies as a terrorist group.
Then in June, Ankara has agreed with Washington on joint action to maintain security in the region.
CNN-Turk television quoted Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying that training for the joint patrols between the Turks and the Americans have ended but it was not clear yet when the patrols will start.
The Manbij Military Council that administers the town says the last Kurdish fighters left Manbij in July.
The Syrian rebel-affiliated Step News Agency reported on Thursday that Kurdish forces are moving armoured vehicles and heavy weaponry from eastern Deir Ezzor to Hassakeh, about 270 kilometres east of Kobani.
Sharfan Darwish, spokesman of the Manbij Military Council, told The Associated Press earlier that the patrols were taking place on the front lines between his group and those of Turkey-backed factions in the operation called Euphrates Shield.
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