Turkish army soldiers stand guard as Kurdish people wait in a hope to enter Cizre, a town subject to a curfew as part of a controversial operation against Kurdish rebels, on March 22, 2016 in Mardin, for Newroz celebration. Nowruz, the Farsi-language word for 'New Year', is an ancient Persian festival, celebrated on the first day of spring, March 21, in Central Asian republics, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – The Turkish and U.S. forces in northern Syria will likely begin their joint patrols in the city of Manbij in the coming days, Ankara’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated on Tuesday.

“We have wrapped up training for US-Turkish patrols in Manbij and will start to carry out such patrols today or tomorrow. After Manbij, our next venue will be east of the Euphrates,” Akar said, as quoted by state-owned Anadolu Agency.

The two foreign forces agreed to conduct joint patrols in order to avoid a potential invasion by the Turkish Army earlier this year.

The Turkish Army had repeatedly warned the U.S. about allowing the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to maintain a presence inside of Manbij; this prompted several meetings between Washington and Ankara before the issue could be resolved.

While Ankara still claims that the YPG forces are active around Manbij, this will not have any affect on their upcoming patrols in the area.

 

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