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Turkey wants diplomatic solution on Syria's Manbij, defence minister says
March 16, 2017 / 9:50 AM / 4 months ago

Turkey wants diplomatic solution on Syria's Manbij, defence minister says

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Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, August 5, 2016.Tumay Berkin

ANKARA (Reuters) - Finding a diplomatic solution with the United States and Russia on northern Syria's Manbij has become a necessity, and a military approach would only be considered if diplomacy failed, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Thursday.

Speaking to broadcaster A Haber in an interview, Isik also said Turkey was considering every option to prevent Kurdish militants from taking a foothold in Iraq's Sinjar, including a joint ground operation with the forces of the Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish Region.

The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey considers a terrorist organisation, is the dominant party in a U.S.-backed alliance currently controlling Manbij. It is unclear how large a presence the YPG has in Manbij.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan

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