Syria war: Pro-government forces 'enter Manbij' amid Turkey threats

Meeting will be the latest step in the Astana peace process

Meeting will be the latest step in the Astana peace process

The northern Syrian town of Manbij, previously controlled by the YPG, was left by the Kurdish forces who said they would be concentrating on the fight against Daesh* to the east of the Euphrates.

YPG terrorists walk on the rubble of damaged shops and buildings in the city of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 10, 2016.

Russian Federation on Friday hailed as "positive" the Syrian army's entry into the key northern city of Manbij for the first time in six years after Kurds opened the gates.

The move was announced on state television soon after Syrian Kurdish fighters appealed for the government's help to avert an attack by Turkish-backed forces that have been positioning themselves around the town near the Turkey-Syria border.

Following up on turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warning France against keeping troops in Syria after the USA pullout, Turkey's state-run Anadolu newspaper has exposed the locations of French army bases across Syria.

Critics decried his decision to remove the 2,000 USA troops in Syria, saying that would leave the Kurds vulnerable to a Turkish attack and that pulling out the American troops would show the US isn't a reliable partner.

Tensions in the region have risen in recent weeks, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to launch a new offensive against the Kurds.

No more votes expected this week on government shutdown
A deal to end the funding dispute appears to be a distant prospect as Congress adjourned on the weekend for Christmas . Any formula to fully fund the USA government will have to be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by Trump.

He said Kurdish militia remain inside the town. The French, after all, knew their bases were vulnerable without the USA, and similarly must've assumed Turkey knew that as well. The Nato allies reached an agreement in June for the YPG to leave the town but Turkey says its implementation has been delayed.

But President Trump announced earlier this month he was pulling US troops out of Syria. After the Syrian announcement on Friday, the Turkish defence ministry said the YPG "has no right or power to make a statement on behalf of the local people and invite any other elements" to the area.

The Syrian army said in its statement on Friday that its troops had raised the national flag in Manbij and would guarantee security "for all Syrian citizens and others present in the area".

The Syrian government has said it welcomes the Kurdish group returning under its authority.

A Turkish delegation comprising Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was expected in Moscow on Saturday to discuss the pullout of United States troops from Syria.

The development signals the two sides have agreed to the new arrangement.

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