Erdogan: Turkey Will Have Observation Area Near Syrian City of Manbij

Says Russia has agreed Turkey can keep this area

Speaking on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reported that there will be at least one observation post staying in northern Syria, under the control of the Turkish military. That will be just northeast of the city of Manbij.

Turkey had originally wanted 12 observation posts in northeastern Syria under the US plan, but yesterday suggested they were scrapping that plan under the Russia deal, with joint Russia-Turkey patrols meaning less concern on the Turkish side.

That Turkey is still insisting on a zone near Manbij, however, may suggest this remains a sore spot under the new deal. Turkey’s invasion was clearly intending to target Manbij as a city to occupy early, and a Kurdish YPG deal with Syria precluded that, ceding Manbij and Kobane to the Syrian government to defend.

With Russia now in the area, Manbij just isn’t going to get occupied by Turkey, and for the time being, Turkey may decide to just set up camp in the “observation area” on the outskirts of the city indefinitely.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of