US to take 'more steps' in Manbij till end of 2018

              By Selen Temizer and Fatih Hafiz Mehmet</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - U.S. special envoy for Syria said his country is going to take “more steps” regarding the Manbij roadmap in Syria and these will be completed by the end of 2018.</p>    <p>Speaking to reporters after the Turkish-U.S. High-Level Working Group meeting on Syria in Ankara, U.S. Syria Envoy James Jeffrey said the Manbij roadmap requires a series of steps.</p>    <p>&quot;The commitment of the United States was from members of the PYD and YPG, who are present in Manbij, to leave and local councils and the local military personnel not to include members of that organizations.</p>    <p>&quot;And so we're going to take a few more steps to ensure that we meet that criteria as soon as possible. And some of them will be completed by the end of December,&quot; Jeffrey said.</p>    <p>Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region. </p>    <p>Referring to the U.S. move to place observation posts along the Turkish border in northern Syria, Jeffrey said it is to “discourage” harassment fire.</p>    <p>Jeffrey said those are not combat outposts, but observation posts.</p>    <p>&quot;They are not there to stop anyone from shooting... They are to find out what is going on in the ground with the idea that if we are able to observe an area probably there'll be less shooting in that area,&quot; he said.</p>    <p>Being asked on the Astana peace process to end the conflict in Syria, which he previously called as a failure, Jeffrey said they do not have a problem with that.</p>    <p>&quot;Astana process is continuing on, we have no problem with that, anything that can deconflict the military situation is fine,&quot; Jeffrey said.</p>    <p>Turkey has repeatedly objected to U.S. support for the terrorist PKK/PYD as a &quot;reliable ally&quot; in Syria, which has included supplying arms and equipment.</p>          <p>In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

Turkey’s presidential aide meets US envoy for Syria

                By Yildiz Nevin Gundogmus</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s presidential spokesman on Friday met the U.S. envoy for Syria in capital Ankara, according to presidential sources.</p>    <p>Ibrahim Kalin and James Jeffrey discussed joint efforts to implement Syria’s Manbij roadmap in other areas east of Euphrates.

Both sides agreed that the Manbij roadmap should be implemented promptly, while noting the importance of achieving concrete progress by end of the year.

During the meeting, a consensus was reached to accelerate the political process and establish the basis for a permanent solution in Syria.

Kalin and Jeffrey stressed the success of quadrilateral summit on Syria held in Istanbul in October and agreed on holding such meetings on a regular basis.

On Oct.27, Istanbul hosted the first ever quadrilateral summit on Syria. Turkish, Russian, French and German leaders examined the situation in the country and offered a plan for the crisis resolution.

The council stressed that the issues agreed on at the summit would contribute to peace in Syria and the region, as well as provide a permanent cease-fire by demilitarization in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Kalin also expressed Turkey's clear stance on PYD/YPG issue and said his country will not permit the existence of any terrorist elements within the borders of the country.

The U.S. has claimed the YPG/PKK is an “ally” in the fight against Daesh, over Turkey’s objections that you cannot use one terrorist group to fight another. Turkey has repeatedly cited evidence that the YPG is no different from the PKK.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a terrorist group recognized by Turkey, the U.S., and EU, which in its 30-year terror campaign has taken some 40,000 lives.

Turkey’s presidential aide meets US envoy for Syria

                By Yildiz Nevin Gundogmus</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s presidential spokesman on Friday met the U.S. envoy for Syria in capital Ankara, according to presidential sources.</p>    <p>Ibrahim Kalin and James Jeffrey discussed joint efforts to implement Syria’s Manbij roadmap in other areas east of Euphrates.

Both sides agreed that the Manbij roadmap should be implemented promptly, while noting the importance of achieving concrete progress by end of the year.

During the meeting, a consensus was reached to accelerate the political process and establish the basis for a permanent solution in Syria.

Kalin and Jeffrey stressed the success of quadrilateral summit on Syria held in Istanbul in October and agreed on holding such meetings on a regular basis.

On Oct.27, Istanbul hosted the first ever quadrilateral summit on Syria. Turkish, Russian, French and German leaders examined the situation in the country and offered a plan for the crisis resolution.

The council stressed that the issues agreed on at the summit would contribute to peace in Syria and the region, as well as provide a permanent cease-fire by demilitarization in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Kalin also expressed Turkey's clear stance on PYD/YPG issue and said his country will not permit the existence of any terrorist elements within the borders of the country.

The U.S. has claimed the YPG/PKK is an “ally” in the fight against Daesh, over Turkey’s objections that you cannot use one terrorist group to fight another. Turkey has repeatedly cited evidence that the YPG is no different from the PKK.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a terrorist group recognized by Turkey, the U.S., and EU, which in its 30-year terror campaign has taken some 40,000 lives.

Turkey-US to make 'concrete' progress on Manbij roadmap

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey and the U.S. said Friday that the two countries hope to make concrete progress on the Manbij roadmap by end of the year.

The Turkish-U.S. high level working group on Syria met for the third time in Ankara. The group included senior officials of Turkey’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense and the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

A joint statement after the meeting said: "They committed to accelerated and concrete progress on the Manbij Roadmap by the end of the year.

"They agreed to continue to work on joint planning with regard to other areas as mentioned in the Manbij Roadmap.

"Both sides reaffirmed their resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations originating from within Syria and beyond."

They also affirmed their commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and underscored the importance of sustained and irreversible progress on a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

"They reiterated their shared commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrians in need and acknowledged substantial efforts by both governments in this regard."

Both sides decided to meet frequently to effectively address security concerns in Syria.

"For this purpose, both sides agreed to increase the frequency of Working Group meetings on Syria. They decided to convene the next High-Level Working Group on Syria meeting in Washington D.C. no later than February 2019," the statement added.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Syria's northwestern Manbij on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.

US envoy for Syria to visit Turkey, Jordan

            By Servet Gunerigok</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. special representative for Syria James Jeffrey will travel to Turkey and Jordan between Dec. 4-14, the State Department said Tuesday. </p>  <p>Jeffrey will be joined by Joel Rayburn, deputy assistant secretary of state for Levant affairs and special envoy for Syria.  </p>  <p>&quot;In Turkey, the Ambassador will meet with Turkish leaders and other senior officials to discuss the promotion of stability and security in Syria,&quot; said the department in a statement. </p>  <p>He will also conduct a &quot;High-Level Working Group on Syria&quot; with Turkish officials ‎to address security concerns of the U.S. and Turkey and continue progress on issues of mutual interest regarding the Syria crisis, according to the statement. </p>  <p>&quot;In Jordan, Ambassador Jeffrey will meet with Senior Jordanian officials to emphasize the importance of maintaining pressure on the Syrian regime and encouraging all possible efforts to advance the political track as called for in UNSCR 2254,&quot; said the statement. </p>  <p>Jeffrey will discuss &quot;additional ways to ensure consistent, unhindered access to humanitarian and medical aid&quot; for the refugees of the Rukban camp. </p>  <p>Located in the desert on the Syrian-Jordanian border, the camp is home to nearly 60,000 refugees displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria. </p>  <p>&quot;He will also meet with U.S. personnel focused on Syria policy issues from around the world,&quot; said the department. </p>  <p>The Syrian regime has imposed a tight siege around the camp, triggering deteriorating humanitarian conditions for its residents. </p>  <p>Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Japanese envoy hails Turkey's efforts for Syrian people

             By Mehmet Fatih Aslan</p>    <p>SANLIURFA, Turkey (AA) - Japanese ambassador to Turkey Akio Miyajima on Tuesday praised Ankara's efforts for Syrian people.</p>    <p>&quot;I wish peace to come to Syria as soon as possible. I am proud of Turkish government and people. I think that their warm attitude towards their Syrian guests is splendid,&quot; Miyajima said in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa on Syria border. </p>  <p>Miyajima said Japan will continue to stand with Turkey in its aid efforts for Syrian people.</p>    <p>Turkey hosts around 3.6 million Syrians who fled the seven-year devastating civil war, more than any other country in the world.</p>    <p>The country has spent more than $32 billion from its own national resources for helping and sheltering Syrians since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.</p>    <p>Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Turkey, US carry 2nd training for Manbij joint patrols

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish and U.S. troops carried out the second round of trainings for combined patrols in Manbij, northeast of the Aleppo Governorate in Syria, as part of a deal to rid the area of the YPG/PKK terrorist group, the military said Sunday.

The Turkish Armed Forces said on Twitter: "In accordance with the Manbij Road Map and Security Principles, Turkish and the U.S. Armed Forces troops completed the second joint trainings on combined patrol activities in Manbij."

Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had announced earlier in October that Turkish and U.S. soldiers started joint training on combined patrols in the city.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a terrorist group recognized by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU which in its 30-year terror campaign has taken some 40,000 lives.

The U.S. has claimed the YPG/PKK is an “ally” in the fight against Daesh over Turkey’s objections that one cannot use a terrorist group to fight another.

Turkey has repeatedly cited evidence that the YPG is no different from the PKK.

Turkish Red Crescent continues helping war-torn Syria

By Lale Koklu

IDLIB (AA) – The Turkish Red Crescent on Sunday inaugurated a pre-school and a tailoring shop in northern Syria.

Kerem Kinik, head of the agency, attended the inauguration in Khan Sheikhoun district of Idlib province which was the target of a chemical attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime last year.

The pre-school will teach 55 children including those who had been orphaned.

The tailoring shop will employ some 20 women.

Speaking to reporters, Kinik said the Turkish Red Crescent has sent 42,000-trucks of humanitarian aid to Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Syrian opposition, YPG/PKK terrorists clash in Syria

By Omer Koparan and Adham Kako

AZAZ, Syria / ANKARA (AA) – The Syrian opposition and terrorist group YPG/PKK clashed in northern Syria on late Friday, said local sources.

At least three members of the Free Syrian Army died in the clashes that broke out at three spots in the Operation Euphrates Shield region, the local sources said.

The YPG/PKK attacked the Able and Hamran district and Kelcibrin village in the region.

The number of YPG/PKK terrorists killed remains unclear, the sources added.

The Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, was aimed at eliminating the terrorist threat along the Turkish border with the use of the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkish artillery and air cover.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.