Turkey requires US withdrawal from Manbij

(MENAFN) Turkey on Saturday called on the United States to pull out personnel from a Kurdish-held town in northern Syria.

As Turkey's offensive assaults in Syria resumed to a second week with new air strikes and artillery, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was "necessary for them (US) to immediately withdraw from Manbij," where Washington has a military presence.

Earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said "God willing we will crush them (terror groups) like a steam roller," and threatened to expand the offensive against the YPG to Manbij, east of Afrin.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim hit out at critics, explaining the "operation was not an option but a necessity."

The numbers of victims is not verified yet, but Observatory said 111 Ankara-backed rebels and Kurdish fighters have been killed between both sides since last Saturday. It added that 38 civilians have been killed by Turkey's assaults but Ankara denounced the number.

Health workers in Afrin told AFP they feared the offensive would lead to a humanitarian "tragedy", Khalil Sabri Ahmed, head of the main hospital in Afrin said that "Medication and humanitarian aid necessary to help civilians will soon run out."


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