Erdogan confirms Turkey-US patrols in Syria's Manbij

Joint Turkey-US patrol forces enter Syria's Manbij

Local officials in Manbij have denied reports that Turkish troops have entered the city, insisting they have not crossed the demarcation line.

Turkish troops, along with the USA soldiers, have begun patrolling in rural parts of the northern Syrian town of Manbij, the Turkish president and foreign minister confirmed on Monday, after months of wrangling between Ankara and Washington over how to ensure removal of the Kurdish forces from the city.

An explanatory note for the Senate's version of the National Defense Authorization Act says that the ban on selling F-35 to Ankara comes due to the imprisonment of USA pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey.

Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, deputy coalition commander, said on Twitter that patrols outside of Manbij "are meant to prevent clashes between forces operating in the area" and to ensure ongoing focus on defeating ISIS.

The source condemned the move as part of "the continued Turkish and American aggression on the sovereignty, security and unity of the lands of the Syrian Arab Republic".

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group.

Earlier this month, Turkey and the United States endorsed a "road map" to overcome months of dispute over the city.

The U.S. Senate's decision to pass a bill prohibiting the sale of Lockheed Martin's F-35 jets to Turkey is unfortunate and against the spirit of strategic partnership, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday.

Much of Syria's north is controlled by the YPG or the alliance that it heads, and the US-led coalition fighting jihadists operates several bases there.

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