Syrian Kurds to Pull Out of Key Town, Easing U.S.-Turkey Rift

Ankara considers the YPG a terror group tied to a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey and has demanded the Kurdish fighters leave Manbij for over a year

A U.S. soldier sits in an armored vehicle on a road leading to the tense front line with Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria, Wednesday, April 4, 2018
AP Photo/Hussein Malla

A Syrian Kurdish militia says it’s pulling out of the key northern Syrian town, potentially easing a serious rift between the United States and Turkey.

The People’s Protection Units, known by their Kurdish acronym YPG, said in a statement on Tuesday that its advisers had completed their mission to train the local forces, the Manbij Military Council, to defend the town of Manbij.

The development follows an announcement Monday from Turkey, saying it had reached an agreement with the U.S. over the future of the town.

Both the YPG and the Manbij Military Council are backed by the U.S., straining Washington-Ankara relations.

Ankara considers the YPG a terror group tied to a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey and has demanded the Kurdish fighters leave Manbij for over a year.