21:04 GMT05 July 2020
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Ankara opposes the presence of Syrian government troops in Manbij and considers clearing the region of the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) a matter of national security, the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hami Aksoy said Friday.

    "In no case can we facilitate provocations by the Syrian regime [Damascus] in Manbij, as well as attempts by members of the YPG to open the door to the regime's forces. Clearing the YPG out of Manbij is a matter of national security for us. The terrorist attack in Manbij once again showed the importance of clearing the region of terrorists and the need to implement the road map for Manbij," Aksoy told reporters.

    His comments come after on Wednesday, about two dozen people, including up to five US servicemen, were killed in Manbij in an explosion for which the Daesh* terrorist group claimed responsibility.

    In December, the YPG announced its withdrawal from Manbij and called on Damascus to take control of the city to protect the area in the event Ankara launched a military operation against the Kurds.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia


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    Manbij, Syria, Turkey
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