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Manbij government denies Turkish patrol as Ankara pushes for access

The local council of Manbij has denied Ankara's claim that Turkish forces will enter the city and conduct joint patrols with US forces, saying Turkey is looking for an excuse to keep a presence there.
A road sign that shows the direction to Manbij city is seen in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria March 1, 2017. Picture taken March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RC15D78AB000

The co-chair of the Manbij Legislative Council rebutted claims that Turkish forces will enter the mainly Arab Syrian city under the terms of a road map agreed between Turkey and the United States. Speaking to the pro-Kurdish Hawar News Agency, Farouk Al-Mashi said, “What they claim about the road map regarding their entry to Manbij is nothing but baseless allegations.” The official stated that the situation in Manbij was stable and that Turkey was seeking “pretexts” to intervene in the northern Syrian city.

Al-Mashi was responding to a Sept. 21 statement by Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin about the implementation of the Manbij road map endorsed in June to pacify Turkish concerns about the dominance of the pro-Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) over Manbij.

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