FILE PHOTO – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey is ready to take over security in Syria’s Manbij without delay, President Tayyip Erdogan told U.S. President Donald Trump in a telephone call on Sunday, the Turkish presidency said.
Erdogan said an attack that left four U.S. personnel dead last week in Manbij was an act of provocation aimed at affecting Trump’s decision last month to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
Manbij is controlled by a militia allied to the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG, who last month invited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into the area around the town to forestall a potential Turkish assault.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Ali Kucukgocmen; Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Robin Pomeroy