By Sibel Ugurlu
ANKARA (AA) – The Manbij roadmap agreed-upon by Turkey and the U.S. should be put into practice as soon as possible, the Turkish presidential aide said on Wednesday.
"The delaying tactic started becoming a growing problem. Manbij roadmap should be implemented as soon as possible," Ibrahim Kalin said, speaking to reporters following a Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex.
Kalin added that Turkey "can take steps at any time to ensure its national security against terror groups in Syria".
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terrorist group from the city in order to stabilize the region.
Washington has claimed the YPG is a “reliable ally” in the fight against Daesh, while Ankara has pointed to its status as an offshoot of the PKK, a recognized terrorist group which has taken some 40,000 lives in Turkey.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. This led to a military conflict between the Syrian opposition groups and the Assad regime over the war-torn country’s territory.
Iran has been supporting the Assad regime during the war while Russia intervened in September 2015. Peace talks were launched in Geneva in 2012 aiming to find a political solution for the conflict while Astana talks began in 2017 discussing cease-fire that has been fragile so far.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the conflict mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas while millions more were displaced. During the conflict, Assad regime was accused many times by various international actors of targeting Syrian civilians with chemical weapons.