The U.S. will not withdraw troops from Syria's People's Protection Units (YPG)-held town of Manbij, General Joseph Votel, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, which coordinates anti-Daesh operations in Iraq and Syria, said Monday, as Turkey seeks to expand Operation Olive Branch to clear terrorists off of its borders.
Turkish officials have consistently noted that Operation Olive Branch will continue into Manbij and have criticized the U.S. for not keeping its promises, in terms of the pledge given by the U.S. that local councils would run the cities after they were liberated, but the PYD/PKK took control in northern Syria.
Previously, the U.S. administration under former President Barack Obama had promised Turkey that the YPG terrorists would move east of the Euphrates. However, despite warnings from Ankara, the promises were not kept, and the YPG did not move east of the Euphrates.
The YPG's ultimate aim is to establish an autonomous region in northern Syria by connecting the northwestern Afrin canton to the Kobani and Jazeera cantons in the northeast. As such, Turkey's operation will put a stop to establishing the autonomous region, which Ankara terms a "terror corridor."
As a result of the broken promises by the U.S., Turkey also shifted its position and vowed to clear all terrorists from northern Syria, including Manbij and the eastern parts of the Euphrates.
Operation Olive Branch was launched on Jan. 20 to clear YPG terrorists that have been harassing Turkey's borders for a long time.