Speaking to reporters on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the US of having failed to comply with a deal negotiated between the two nations back in June. The deal was meant resolve Turkish threats to attack the Syrian city of Manbij.
Under the deal, Turkish forces would be allowed into Manbij, and the US would expel Kurdish forces from the city, but be allowed to stay themselves. Erdogan says that the US “did not keep their promise,” and that the YPG still has a presence in the area around the city, and the “real owners” aren’t back in Manbij.
Turkey has been condemning the US for years for supporting the Kurdish YPG, who they consider terrorists, and had threatened to attack Manbij to kick the Kurds out, even if it meant they’d end up fighting US troops.
Manbij was captured by US and Kurdish forces from ISIS control. Turkey objected, saying that the Kurds aren’t allowed west of the Euphrates River, and Manbij is on the western shore. Manbij is historically an Arab-dominated city, but was under the Kurdish regional government’s control since the takeover.