Turkey ready to move into Kurdish-controlled Manbij 'without delay' – Erdogan to Trump
09:50, Monday, 21 January, 2019
Turkey is ready to take over Manbij, a Kurdish-controlled town in Syria, "without delay," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the US leader, denouncing a suicide blast that had killed four US Americans as a provocation. In a phone call late Sunday, Erdogan told President Donald Trump that the Turkish forces are poised to assume security functions in Manbij immediately. Erdogan argued that the terrorist attack last week that claimed the lives of four Americans, including two US troops, was a deliberate provocation aimed at forestalling the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, announced by Trump last month.
Two service members as well as a civilian and a contractor were killed after a bomb detonated inside a café in Manbij last Wednesday. On Saturday, Trump flew to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to attend a ceremony to receive the remains of four slain Americans and spoke with their relatives.
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack, prompting those opposed to the decision to again question its timing.