Turkey's Defense Ministry: Manbij roadmap moving forward

Turkey's Defense Ministry: Manbij roadmap moving forward

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the Manbij roadmap in Syria is "moving forward slowly."

"Manbij roadmap is moving forward even if slowly. We constantly remind our counterparts about necessity of withdrawing YPG/PKK from region," the minister said, speaking at a ceremony at the Turkish General Staff headquarters in Ankara.

"Turkey strives for ensuring security, preventing attacks, giving aid to nearly 3.5-4 million people in Syria's Idlib without violating the ceasefire," Anadolu Agency cited Akar as saying.

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.

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib in May was designated as a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly forbidden as part of the ongoing Astana process. Nevertheless, for the past two months, the Idlib de-escalation zone has been the target of particular fierce airstrikes by Russia and Assad regime forces.