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6/14, 11:13 AM (Source: TeleTrader.com)
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US, Turkey reach deal on Syria's Manbij

The United States and Turkish military officials reached an agreement on the strategically important town of Manbij in Syria's Aleppo province, which has been a significant point of discord between the two NATO allies since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, AP reported on Thursday. According to a military statement released after a meeting at the US European Command headquarters in Stuttgart earlier this week, the agreement was named "Manbij Implementation Plan", but no further details were disclosed at this point.

The town of Manbij has been at the center of a dispute between the US and Turkey following Ankara's Olive Branch operation against Syrian Kurdish militias around the town of Afrin earlier this year. After capturing the Afrin area and driving out the local Kurds, most importantly the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to extend the military campaign eastwards towards the Iraqi border, including the town of Manbij. However, Manbij hosts a significant number of US soldiers, while the top US general in Syria vowed to support city's local Kurds despite Turkey's repeated demands for a withdrawal of US forces.

However, the YPG announced last week it would pull its troops from Manbij, most likely to the east of the Euphrates River, thus paving the way for an agreement between the US and Turkey regarding the future governing of the city.

Breaking the News / FH