Turk­ish, US mil­i­tary of­fi­cials agree on plan for Man­bij

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

TURKEY’S mil­i­tary said Thurs­day that Turk­ish and US of­fi­cials, meet­ing in Ger­many, have reached an agree­ment on a plan for the strate­gic Syr­ian town of Man­bij that was a source of ten­sion be­tween the NATO al­lies.

A mil­i­tary state­ment said Turk­ish and US mil­i­tary of­fi­cials met at the US Euro­pean Com­mand head­quar­ters in Stuttgart on June 12 and 13 and reached an agree­ment on a “Man­bij Im­ple­men­ta­tion Plan.” It said the plan would be dis­cussed by se­nior of­fi­cials from the two coun­tries, but pro­vided no de­tails.

Turkey and the US have of­fered dif­fer­ing de­scrip­tions of their roadmap for Man­bij, but a Us-backed Kur­dish mili­tia group is ex­pected to re­treat to the east of the Euphrates River, meet­ing a long-stand­ing Turk­ish de­mand.

Turkey has re­peat­edly called on the US to stop backing the Syr­ian Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units, or YPG, which it con­sid­ers ter­ror­ists and an ex­ten­sion of a Kur­dish in­sur­gency within its own bor­ders.

The Us-backed force has been in­stru­men­tal in fight­ing the Is­lamic State group and push­ing them out of north­ern Syria, in­clud­ing in Man­bij.

The agree­ment came as an in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights group said Turkey-backed Syr­ian op­po­si­tion fight­ers have seized, looted and de­stroyed prop­erty of Kur­dish civil­ians in the north­ern Kur­dish re­gion of Afrin.

Hu­man Rights Watch said the rebels have in­stalled fight­ers and their fam­i­lies in res­i­dents’ homes and de­stroyed and looted civil­ian prop­er­ties with­out com­pen­sat­ing the own­ers.

Priyanka Mo­ta­parthy, act­ing emer­gen­cies di­rec­tor at Hu­man Rights Watch, was quoted in the re­port as say­ing that “de­stroy­ing or mov­ing into the prop­erty of peo­ple who have had to flee the fight­ing is not what the Free Syr­ian Army fight­ers should be do­ing when they move into an area.”

HRW said Turkey and the rebel groups in Afrin should com­pen­sate dis­placed res­i­dents whose prop­erty they have seized, de­stroyed, or looted, and should not per­ma­nently de­prive res­i­dents of their prop­erty.

Turkey launched an air and ground offensive in the Kur­dish-con­trolled re­gion of Afrin on Jan. 20, and cap­tured most of it two months later. - AP

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