US begins patrols with SDF in northeast Syria: Official

By Kasim Ileri

WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. troops have begun patrols in northeastern Syria, a military official confirmed Monday.

The patrols come after the Turkish military shelled several PKK/YPG positions in the region last week. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group.

At a news conference, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said the "assurance patrols" with SDF forces started Friday.

"While there is no set timetable for these specific patrols or regularity, these patrols will allow us, Turkey and our SDF partners to maintain the safety and security of the region," said Manning.

On combined joint patrols that started with the Turkish military in Manbij, Manning said: "These patrols and our continued efforts to de-escalate tensions will allow us to focus on our goal of ensuring the enduring" defeat of Daesh.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, it has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.

*Servet Gunerigok contributed to this story

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