Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has claimed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants in northern Syria will withdraw from the Syrian city of Manbij according to a roadmap agreed with the US, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.
“After meetings in Washington, US Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo and I will announce a roadmap foreseeing the YPG’s withdrawal from Manbij,” Çavuşoğlu told journalists on his way back to Turkey from Germany.
Çavuşoğlu argued that Manbij was populated mostly by Arabs, whereas the Kurdish population amounted to only 2 percent of the total, meaning that there could be no Kurdish administration in the city. He also mentioned Raqqa and Kobane as sharing same demographics with Manbij and hinted at the execution of the same plan in those cities.
Turkish and US officials will hold a meeting on Syria on June 4.
On May 27 Turkish and US officials announced that they had “outlined the main contours of a roadmap for their further cooperation in ensuring security and stability in Manbij.”
No further details were given.
US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that the US and Turkey had not yet reached a final agreement on Manbij.
“We’re continuing to have ongoing conversations regarding Syria and other issues of mutual concern. The two sides then had outlined the contours of a roadmap for further cooperation, and that includes on Manbij,” Nauert said at a press briefing.