Training for joint Turkey-US patrol to start 'shortly'

Sat 18 Aug 2018 03:18 GMT | 07:18 Local Time

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Training for a joint Turkish-American patrol in the northern Syrian city of Manbij will start "shortly", U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.

Training for the combined patrols is “starting shortly in Turkey, according to Anadolu Agency. The gear is in. The officers are in…and it will start shortly," a statement Thursday from the Department of Defense quoted Mattis as saying.

Mattis told reporters en route to Colombia that the training will start "within 72 hours".

Meanwhile, the State Department's acting Middle East chief said Friday that an ongoing row between Turkey and the U.S. has not affected a bilateral agreement on Manbij.

"The proceeding upon the Manbij roadmap by all parties involved has been smooth and extremely encouraging. There has been no consequence or impact that we can discern of the other bilateral issues in play here," said David Satterfield.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the city in order to stabilize the region.

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