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Turkish and US military on Thursday started conducting joint patrols in northern Syria's Manbij in line with a deal between the two countries.

The halting of the operation is a major setback for the United States and its allies and comes after Turkey threatened a new military operation targeting the Kurdish-led SDF.

Turkey sees Kurdish elements of the SDF as linked to the separatist group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the USA identifies as a terrorist group.

Manbij, located about 30 km from the Turkish border, has become a source of discord between Ankara and Washington after Kurdish forces took control of the region in 2016, replacing US-backed terrorists of the "Islamic state".

The halting of the operation is a major setback for the United States and its allies and comes after Turkey threatened a new military operation targeting the Kurdish-led SDF.

"As a result of the infrastructure work and security and stability in the region provided by the Turkish armed forces, around 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to the Euphrates Shield Operation area", Reuters quoted Akar as saying.

We will remind, on Sunday 28 October, the Turkish army inflicted artillery strike on the positions of Kurdish self-defense Forces near the town of Kobani in Northern Syria.

Both the European Union and the USA classify the PKK as a terrorist organization, but they differentiate between the PKK and other Kurdish groups.

Meanwhile, west of the Euphrates River, joint U.S. and Turkish forces were expected to begin joint patrols on Thursday as part of a road map for easing tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The Americans and the Turks have been conducting independent patrols along the border, and joint patrols are seen as a way of preventing violence. "Unilateral military strikes into north-west Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us", deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said.

"We will trample on [sic] terror groups with more effective operations", Erdogan told his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group in Ankara, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reports.

On Tuesday, two days after another round of shelling of Kurdish posts in northern Syria, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had completed preparations for a new operation to "destroy" the YPG militia, which Ankara has branded a terrorist group.

USA relations with Turkey, one of its closest allies in the Middle East for decades, have been strained nearly to breaking point in recent months by differences over Syria and a range of other issues.

"After Manbij, our next venue will be east of the Euphrates", Akar pointed out.

For now, Russian Federation seems to support Turkey's military moves on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

Past offensives halted at the banks of the river, in part to avoid direct confrontation with the US.


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