Pentagon: Joint patrols support “long-term security in Manbij”

Orient Net 2018-08-17 06:35:00

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US service members will begin training Turkish forces for joint patrols near the Syrian city of Manbij within the next three days, according to US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

“I would say within 72 hours actually. Very soon, could be sooner,” Mattis told reporters aboard a US aircraft Thursday (August 16).

Mattis said US training gear and equipment, along with the training officers, were now in Turkey, VOA reported.

The training is needed before US and Turkish forces operating near Manbij can combine their patrols.

Right now, the two forces are conducting “coordinated but independent” patrols, according to the Pentagon.

It is unclear when US and Turkish forces would start conducting the joint patrols in Syria once training of Turkey’s troops is complete.

The Pentagon says the purpose of the patrols are to support “long-term security in Manbij” and uphold its commitments to NATO-ally Turkey.