© AP Photo / Hussein Malla
22 June, 2018
The presence of US troops in Syria is escalating tensions between government forces and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The United States is establishing a new military base near Manbij, already the third in the area, a commander of the local military council, which is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, told Sputnik Turkey.
“The new American military base is at the entrance to the city in Medah district,” Helil Bozi said.
“The Americans already have two military bases in Manbij, along the road leading to Aleppo, and in Eyn Dedat close to the Sajir River,” he added.
The commander refused to provide any information about the number of US troops deployed at the new base citing security concerns, saying only that the US forces maintain daily patrols around Manbij.
There are some 5,000 troops currently deployed at more than 20 US military bases set up in areas of northern Syria controlled by the Democratic Forces of Syria.On Monday, the US Department of State said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had endorsed a road map to ensure stability in Manbij.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said that the sides had agreed on a schedule of the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the area under the road map.
US-Turkish relations have suffered a setback amid Ankara’s concerns over Washington’s support for the YPG, viewed by the Turkish authorities as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist organization outlawed in Turkey.
Ankara has repeatedly accused Washington of failing to fulfill its promises regarding the withdrawal of the YPG, who seized Manbij from Daesh terrorists in June 2016.