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Turkey, US to run ‘joint’ military attacks in Manbij, Syria

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends the Extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Bomonti Hilton Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey on 18 May, 2018 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends the Extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Bomonti Hilton Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey on 18 May, 2018 [Arif Hüdaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency

Turkey and the United States are to conduct joint operations to clear out the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK)-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) group in northern Syria’s Manbij, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

“Though there are few days of delay in the schedule, the process continues without a hitch. We are now entering a joint patrol period,” Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister said in a joint press conference yesterday. No “interruptions” have been made in the efforts in Syria, he added.

Earlier today, America’s Embassy was shot at six times in the Turkish capital Ankara by unidentified assailants at 05:30am local time (2:30 GMT). An investigation has been launch in to the incident.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests. Since then, more than 400,000 people have been killed and in excess of ten million displaced, according to the UN.

Turkey has been running military operations to free areas in close proximity to its border in Syria.

The news comes at a time of heightened tensions between Ankara and Washington. The United States raised tariffs on Turkey’s metal exports causing the lira to drop significantly. The economic war was triggered over the release of an American evangelical pastor, Andrew Brunson, who has been held on terrorism charges in Turkey since 2016.

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In response to the drop in lira’s currency value, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan placed a boycott on American electronic products, and announced plans to become self-sufficient last week.

Turkey is vying to stabilise its currency, reassuring investors that the sanctions would only make the country stronger. Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s treasury and finance minister, told 6,100 international investors last week that Ankara will not seek loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but focus on seeking funding from international markets.

Qatar’s leader Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani assisted to steady Turkey’s lira by pledging to invest some $15 billion in Turkey. Doha’s assistance comes following Turkey’s immediate support following an air, land and sea blockade against Qatar levied by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt in June last year.

Adding to the momentum yesterday, China’s state councilor and minister of foreign affairs backed Turkey’s security, stability and economy.

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyriaTurkeyUS
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