Turkey says the US-backed YPG has no right to be in Manbij. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Turkey's allies in Syria not to side with "terrorist organisations."

The road to Manbij city from the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria. (March 1, 2017)
The road to Manbij city from the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria. (March 1, 2017)

The Turkish army will attack YPG militants if they refuse to retreat from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

The YPG is the armed wing of the PYD, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU. The US considers the Kurdish YPG to be a key ally in the fight against Daesh.

"Our fight against the YPG or another terrorist organisation should not put us at odds with the US. Turkey and the US must not face off against each other because of Turkey's fight against other terrorist groups," said Cavusoglu.

Calling on Turkey's allies not to "side with terrorist organisations," Cavusoglu said YPG advances would not be tolerated.

Backed by the US, the YPG has taken control of large swathes of northern Syria in the past two years, expanding beyond traditionally Kurdish-majority regions.

SDF hands over villages to Syrian regime

Villages controlled by the Manbij Military Council will be handed to the Syrian regime in the coming days under a deal agreed with Russia, an official from the council said on Thursday.

The Manbij Military Council is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of US-allied militias dominated by the YPG.

TRT World's Iolo Ap Dafydd has more from the Turkish-Syrian border city of Gaziantep.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies