06:32 GMT01 March 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US-led coalition's operations against the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group in eastern Syria could take longer now that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have redeployed in response to Turkey's offensive in the north of the country, Pentagon spokesperson Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik.

    "We are aware of the departure of some SDF forces from the Middle Euphrates River Valley," Rakine-Galloway said on Monday. "The Coalition will achieve its goals, but the increased complexity of the situation in Syria can result in operations taking longer."

    Earlier, a security source familiar with the matter said that SDF had agreed on the transfer of control over the northeast city of Manbij in the Aleppo province to the Syrian army.

    Ankara considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, and Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia affiliates of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) listed as a terror organization in Turkey. In January, the Turkish General Staff announced the operation in Syria's Afrin called "Olive Branch", which is aimed against certain Kurdish forces. Damascus has expressed its opposition to the Turkish operation, it a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

    Later, Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said he had asked the Pentagon's head Jim Mattis to remove the Syrian Kurdish YPG units from the Syrian Democratic Forces, which the US is backing.


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    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Pentagon, Turkey, US
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