‘Turkish patrols in Manbij give hope for homecoming’

Security is leading problem in Manbij, and YPG terrorist group is same as Syrian regime soldiers, says Ibrahim Alhaji.

Turkish soldiers patrolling in Manbij are giving locals hope that they can go back home, according to a prominent longtime resident of the northeastern Syria city.

Ibrahim Alhaji, who served a decade as an undersecretary at Syria’s Justice Ministry after 12 years as a judge and prosecutor in Manbij, took refuge in Turkey after Daesh occupied Manbij.

“Turkish troops patrolling Manbij will make positive contributions to people in the region,” Alhaji told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

For the last five years Alhaji and his six children have taken refuge in Reyhanli in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay.

“Security is the leading problem in Manbij. The YPG terrorist organization in Manbij is the same as the Syrian regime soldiers. Only their clothes are different,” Alhaji said.

“Most of the population in Manbij are Arabs. There’s no difference between us and Turkey. Our culture and religion are common. We live our lives in peace and security in Turkey.

“If security is provided in Manbij, people who fled their land due to the oppression of the YPG terrorist organization and the Daesh terrorist group will return to their homes.

“Daesh executed six people close to me in Manbij, and 10 others were killed by the regime in various places in Syria,” he said.

The Turkish army on Monday announced the start of patrols in Manbij by both countries’ troops in line with a previously agreed roadmap for eliminating terrorists and stabilizing the area.

In a tweet, the Turkish Armed Forces said patrols were being carried out between Manbij and the area liberated by Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield.

The roadmap was first announced after a June 3 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city and stability in the region.

Arabs account for more than 90 percent of the local population in Manbij.