Trump, Erdogan discuss Syria in phone call

Mourners carry the coffin of a commander from the Syrian Democratic Forces, killed a day earlier in battles against ISIS in Hajin during his funeral in Qamishli

Mourners carry the coffin of a commander from the Syrian Democratic Forces, killed a day earlier in battles against ISIS in Hajin during his funeral in Qamishli

The YPG forms the main part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that Washington backs with arms, air support and around 2,000 special forces troops on the ground in the fight against the Islamic State group (IS).

Ankara previously launched an offensive between 2016 and 2017 against IS on its border with Syria, as well as blocking the YPG from linking up areas under its control.

The spokesman of the Manbij Military Council, a USA -backed militia, said Thursday Nov. 1, 2018, that joint U.S.

"The fighting between our forces and the Turkish side has become very intense now", the SDF spokesperson told Syria Direct on Wednesday.

The source noted that the parties also "agreed to continue contacts on the necessary bilateral and regional topics in the near future".

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying that despite promises that the YPG and other Kurdish militias "will be removed from Manbij, the terror organisations are digging trenches there like they did in Afrin". However, according to the SDF spokesperson, "there is a possibility" that a potential agreement could involve the distribution of both United States and Turkish troops along the border.

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Turkish and us forces have begun joint patrols in the North of Syria near the town of Manbij. Adopted in June, the agreement was created to defuse tensions between Turkish-backed rebels and YPG fighters in the area.

"We will soon come down hard on the terror organization with more extensive and effective operations", he said.Turkish forces had already bombarded positions east of the river held by the YPG, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on October 29. For decades, the PKK has waged a bloody insurgency in Turkey.

Over the past two years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria to push YPG fighters out of territory west of the Euphrates in two separate military campaigns.

Earlier this week, Erdogan increased threats to launch a major offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters near the Euphrates River. Sharfan Darwish, spokesman of the Manbij Military Council, w said Thursday Nov. 1, 2018, that joint U.S. Most of the Kurdish-controlled territory lies east of the Euphrates. Erdogan has dismissed the Pentagon's concern that the military drive could compromise the battle against ISIS in eastern Syria, where the Kurdish force is a key combatant.

In the multi-sided conflict, Islamic State fighters have been driven from almost all of the self-proclaimed "caliphate" they controlled in Syria and Iraq by a range of foes including the USA -led coalition, the Iraqi government, the Russian-backed Syrian government and Iran-backed Shi'ite paramilitaries.

The Turkish howitzers fired artillery shells on terror positions in Ayn al-Arab region in a cross-border shooting from Sanliurfa, a border province in southeastern Turkey, said the sources who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

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