Exit of US-backed Kurdish militia from Syrian town complete

July 15, 2018

BEIRUT (AP) — A U.S-backed Syrian group says the withdrawal of a Kurdish militia from a strategic town in northern Syria has been completed, removing a major source of tension between Washington and Ankara.

Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, as terrorists. But Washington has relied on the group to battle the Islamic State group in Syria.

An agreement last month between Turkey and the U.S. announced that the militia will leave Manbij, west of the Euphrates river.

The Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council said Sunday was the last day for YPG advisers, who had stayed in Manbij for two years, to train its forces. The withdrawal began in June.

According to Turkish officials, Washington is expected take back arms it has provided to the group and conduct joint patrols with Turkey.

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