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Has the US conceded to Turkey in Manbij?

Diplomats say major differences on multiple levels make a breakthrough in US-Turkish strategy on Syria difficult.

If one is to go by leaks to the media as well as official statements out of Ankara, Turkey and the United States have essentially worked out a “road map” for Washington-backed Kurdish fighters to leave the northern Syrian city of Manbij near the Turkish border. Accordingly, once the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — which Turkey considers a terrorist organization and an existential threat to its security — evacuate Manbij, Turkish forces would move in and work with US forces already there to provide “stability and security” in the city. The next stage would be to negotiate the YPG's expulsion from lands east of the Euphrates River along Turkey’s border with Syria.

The only problem with this optimistic scenario is that the details are flowing from the Turkish side, while Washington is holding its cards close its chest. A joint statement issued following technical talks May 25 was shorter on specifics than what reporters are being told in Turkey.

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