Turkey has reiterated its desire to remove the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), from Manbij, urging both the United States and Russia not to support "terrorist groups" in Syria, just after the top soldiers of the three countries discussed the security situation in the war-torn country in a surprise meeting.
"What is important for us is to clear Manbij of YPG elements. Why did the YPG come there? To establish its terrorist canton and to gain more territory," FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Thursday.
"That's why it wants to join the Raqqa operation. It won't return after the DAESH [an Arabic acronym of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] is kicked out of Raqqa," Çavuşoğlu told Ankara bureau chiefs of media outlets on Thursday.
"The YPG is using the fight against the DAESH (Islamic State - IS) as an opportunity" Çavuşoğlu said, reiterating that Turkey would not permit the PYD to link its Kobane and Afrin cantons in northern Syria.
Following its victory in al-Bab, Turkey said its next target would be Manbij to push the YPG forces to the east of the Euphrates River; Russia, however, forced the Syrian Kurdish group to transfer control of the region to the Syrian government while the United States deployed more forces to the same area in a bid to halt a potential Turkish operation. - İstanbul