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    Smoke rises from villages in the southern rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria. file photo

    Russia Keeps US 'Abreast' of Manbij Ops, No Close Calls Registered - Pentagon

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    The Russian military has been keeping the United States well informed of its operations in Syria's Manbij, US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said in a briefing on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The spokesperson noted that there has been "nothing very close" when it comes to contact between Russian and US ground forces.

    "We deconflict, and certainly we are well aware of what the Russians are doing, they have kept us abreast of their operations," Davis told reporters.

    The spokesperson noted that there has been "nothing very close" when it comes to contact between Russian and US ground forces. Davis said on Friday that the United States and Russia have started using the existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) for flight operations in Syria to deconflict ground operations.

    He added that the US reassurance and deterrence mission in Manbij has seen a relative success.

    "We continue to have our small number of rangers in and around Manbij doing reassurance and deterrence missions there. That has been relatively successful in keeping all forces there focused on the common enemy of ISIS [Daesh]," Davis told reporters.

    The spokesperson noted the Defense Department has not registered "a large amount of sparring or skirmishing" between the forces that are in Manbij. "That seems to be working," Davis concluded.

    On Wednesday, claims circulated on social media that Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fired on a Turkish military armored vehicle headed to Boughaz on the western Manbij front. Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson told Sputnik on Thursday that the US-led coalition against Daesh was unable to verify the Manbij Military Council’s claims that the incident had taken place.

    Earlier, the Pentagon said that the US deployed a small number of additional troops to Syria's Manbij on a new mission focused on reassurance and deterrence.

    In February it was reported that the US military was "taking all necessary measures" to defend Manbij from a possible assault by Turkish troops.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) must leave the northern city of Manbij as it is going to be the next target of Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

    Turkey considers Syria's PYD and YPG militias linked to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been listed as a terror group by Ankara.


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    Manbij, Syria, United States, Russia
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