On June 21, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed during an interview with CNN that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will begin their withdrawal from the northern Syrian city of Manbij on June 4, as a part of the roadmap, which was agreed upon by Turkey and the U.S. earlier this month.
While the timeline of the YPG withdrawal from Manbij is now revealed, it is unknown yet if Turkish forces will be allowed to enter the northern city. On June 20, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, Colonel Sean Ryan, claimed that the Turkish military will not enter Manbij. However, Col. Rayan might have been referring to the first phase of the roadmap only.
In a related development, the Turkish military conducted its second patrolling mission around Manbij, according to the Trukish Hürriyet Daily News. The patrol was conducted around the Sacu River, which separates Manbij from the city of Jarabulus, which is under the control of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The Turkish military will likely conduct more patrols around Manbij in coordination with the US-led coalition in the upcoming days. While these patrols are nothing more than a symphonic show, the withdrawal of the YPG from Manbij will serve the interests of Turkey in northern Syria for sure.