Turkish and US soldiers are beginning joint training on combined patrols in Manbij, northern Syria, on Tuesday, Turkey's defence minister announced.
"As of today the Turkish and US Armed Forces began joint training on combined patrolling activities, which will be held in the region, as part of the Manbij Roadmap and Security Principles," Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
He said the first group of US personnel arrived in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey on October 2 for training, adding, "Following the completion of training, common united patrolling activities will begin in an effort to establish stability and security in the region and to prevent terrorist activities in the future."
Turkey's independent patrolling in Manbij has been "continuing as planned" since June 18, he added.
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the US focuses on the withdrawal of PKK/YPG terrorists from the city to stabilise the region, which is in the northeast of the Aleppo province in northern Syria.
PKK/YPG will be 'buried in the trenches'
Citing recent reports of the PKK/YPG terror group surrounding the Manbij district centre with trenches and embankments, Akar said: "We have given the necessary warnings to US authorities regarding the matter but have also taken our own measures."
"The terror group must know that when the time and place comes it will be buried in the trenches it has dug," he warned.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken 40,000 lives, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.
As agreed by the two NATO allies in June, Turkish and US forces are currently carrying out patrols in Manbij, but those are independent of each other. Training is the last step before the two countries carry out joint patrols.
Turkey has been infuriated with Washington’s support for YPG and prior to the June agreement it had threatened to push on with a ground offensive against the group in Manbij despite the presence of US troops there.