Turkey has issued an arrest warrant for the Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim, whose group is a key force fighting ISIL in northern Syria.
Warrants were issued for the co-chairman of the PYD party as well as 47 other people in relation to a bomb attack in February that targeted a military bus in Ankara.l
President Erdogan announced that Turkish troops were close to capturing al-Bab from ISIL, and were setting their sights on Manbij and asked for the Kurdish fighters to leave saying:
“They said they would leave. We are told some of them have left but we want PYD and YPG militants to completely evacuate this area… These lands do not belong to terrorists. They belong to Arabs.”
Last week the PYD and its armed wing, the YPG agreed to withdraw its troops from Manbij, a town which they recaptured from ISIL this summer, with the backing of the US.Their troops will be redeployed in the battle for Raqqa.
In August, Turkey sent troops into northern Syria to clear the border area of ISIL militants, and to halt any territorial expansion by the PYD and its armed wing, the YPG.