During a visit to Turkey last week, Secretary of Stat Rex Tillerson came out with a deal with the Turkish government to try to avoid a clash in the Syrian city of Manbij, which Turkish officials have threatened to invade.
Manbij is held by the Kurdish YPG, and has been since last year, when it was taken from ISIS. Turkish officials have long complained this violates their own “red line” that Kurds can’t be west of the Euphrates River, as the city is on the western shore of it.
It’s not clear any further US-Turkey negotiations have happened since, but Deputy PM Bekir Bozdag commented today, saying that the government hopes to resolve the Manbij issue with the US without invading the city militarily.
Turkey has previously suggested that the US could ally with them, and keep their troops in Syria, embedded in Turkish-held territory instead of Kurdish-held territory. It’s not clear, however, how Turkey expects the US to get the Kurds out of Manbij to make this deal work.
The Kurdish YPG, after all, has long dismissed the idea of withdrawing from the city to let Turkey take it over, and is intending to resist the ongoing Turkish invasion.
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