MESOP TODAY : PKK/PYD FORCES LEAVE MANBIJ – Ankara welcomes withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish fighters from Manbij: Turkish deputy PM

 REUTERS  – 26 Sept 2016 – ANKARA,— A significant portion of Kurdish YPG militia fighters who were in the northern Syrian town of Manbij are withdrawing to the east of the Euphrates river in a move welcomed by Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters on Monday. Ankara has demanded that the YPG forces move east of the Euphrates, viewing the group as closely linked to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants fighting in southeast Turkey and deeming both groups terrorist organizations.

On August 24, Turkey has launched an incursion into northern Syria, in an area some 100 km (60 miles) east of Afrin to stop the US-backed Kurdish YPG forces from extending areas under their control and connecting Syrian Kurdistan’s Kobani and Hasaka in the east with Afrin canton in the west.

The alliance is led by the powerful Kurdish YPG, and last August captured the town of Manbij from IS, prompting alarm in Ankara and demands that Kurdish forces withdraw east of the Euphrates river.The YPG said on n August 25, 2016 its forces have returned to their bases after the mission was successfully completed in Manbij. A US defense official said that US-backed Kurdish YPG forces have “all” moved east of the Euphrates River. Read all  – Read all