On October 11, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that the Turkish-U.S. agreement on the northern Syrian city of Manbij is delayed “but not completely dead.”
“There is a delay but [the deal] is not completely dead. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mattis say they will take concrete steps,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper.
Turkey and the U.S. announced last May that they had reached a roadmap on Manbij, which is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). As a part of the roadmap, Kurdish fighters supposedly withdrew from the city and joint patrols by Turkish military and U.S. troops were set to begin.
However, other steps of the roadmap were never fulfilled by the U.S. and its allies. Some of these steps were to form a joint local administration in Manbij and to step down military support for the SDF in the region.
As a result, Erdogan said last month that the US failed to comply with its responsibilities in the framework of the Turkish-US roadmap on Manbij. The Turkish President even claimed that Kurdish fighters didn’t withdraw from the city.
The Manbij deal will likely collapse eventually, if the U.S. continues its unlimited support to the SDF. The Kurdish-dominated group is viewed as a threat by Turkey, which is one of the key NATO member states.