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Turkey Sees Small Possibility of Coming Face-to-Face With US in Syria’s Manbij

Turkey Sees Small Possibility of Coming  Face-to-Face With US in Syria’s ManbijTurkey Sees Small Possibility of Coming  Face-to-Face With US in Syria’s Manbij

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Wednesday he did not think Turkey will come face-to-face with the United States as it carries out military operations in Syria, seeing only a small possibility of this happening in the Manbij area.

In an interview with Reuters, Bozdag said Turkey would, if necessary, continue to use airspace over Syria’s Afrin region as its incursion against the US-backed Kurdish YPG militia entered a fifth day.

Bozdag, who is also the government spokesman, added that Turkey was ready for all kinds of cooperation with the United States and Russia if that would bring peace to the region.

Turkey opened a new front in Syria’s multi-sided civil war with its Afrin operation, which it has dubbed “Olive Branch”. But it could also threaten US plans which claims to stabilize and rebuild a large area of northeast Syria.

Manbij, to the east of Afrin, is part of a much larger area of northern Syria controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the YPG.

  Hundreds of Fighters Killed

Meanwhile, Turkey’s military said on Tuesday it has killed at least 260 Syrian Kurdish fighters and self-styled Islamic State terrorists in the first four days of operations in northwest Syria’s Kurdish-dominated region of Afrin.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the fighting as “very violent” to the northeast, northwest and southwest of Afrin, which lies adjacent to Turkey’s southern border.

The Observatory said 28 civilians were killed; a number vehemently denied by the Ankara government which insists it is only targeting militants. The monitoring group also said 43 Turkish-backed rebels had been killed as well as 38 Kurdish fighters, a number far lower than that provided by the Turkish military.

Three Turkish soldiers have been killed since the offensive began on Saturday.

 

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