Kurdish Units Refuse to Leave Syria's Manbij, Prepare to Defend Town - Reports

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidKurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) head a convoy of U.S military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) head a convoy of U.S military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
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ANKARA (Sputnik) - The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) did not withdraw from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, as was ordered by Turkey and the United States, and are preparing to defend the town, the Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

The YPG militia dug about 30 kilometers (19 miles) of anti-tank trench lines around the town's center and built escape tunnels, the Turkish media reported citing sources.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said earlier this week that the United States was delaying the YPG withdrawal from Manbij, thereby failing to implement Washington's joint plan with Ankara.

In this April 4, 2018 file photo, a U.S-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council soldier passes a U.S. position near the tense front line with Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria - Sputnik International
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In early June, Turkey and the United States adopted a roadmap that provided for the withdrawal of the US-backed YPG, which is regarded by Ankara as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), from Manbij. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Meanwhile, the Syrian authorities have condemned the presence of Turkish and US forces around Manbij.

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