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A rebel spokesman said on Monday Turkish-backed Syrian forces had reinforced the area around the town of Manbij, occupied by the Kurdish fighters, in preparation for the United States withdrawal.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday that "if Turkey says it will enter, it will".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited his American counterpart Donald Trump to visit Turkey in 2019, the White House said on Monday.

FILE - Turkish and USA troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij, as part of an agreement that aimed to ease tensions between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, November 1, 2018.

Turkish officials have previously said Ankara has no territorial ambitions in Syria.

The pace of troop movements, along with diplomatic outreach, intensified Monday, the same day the Pentagon confirmed outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered US troops to start leaving Syria, without elaborating.

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For weeks, Turkey has been threatening to launch a new offensive against the Kurdish fighters, who partnered with the U.S. to drive the Islamic State jihadist group out of much of northern and eastern Syria.

Those threats and a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week appear to have triggered Trump's decision to withdraw the US forces based in Syria.

Turkey conducted a second offensive with Syrian rebels against the YPG in its northwestern enclave of Afrin in January this year.

"If France is staying to contribute to Syria's future, great, but if they are doing this to protect the [militia], this will bring no benefit to anyone", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, according to Hurriyet daily.

But the militia has also been a key US ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, working with American forces on the ground there.

Trump announced plans last week to withdraw roughly 2,000 USA troops from Syria following a phone call with Erdoğan on December 14 in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination on the war-torn country.

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Erdogan's spokesman said Monday Turkish defense officials would meet with their US counterparts later this week.

She said the two countries were "coordinating actively on all issues affecting both Turkish security and the situation in Northeast Syria", but declined to give details of the discussions.

Ankara claims the YPG is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged attacks on Turkish soil since the 1980s as they sought autonomy. Kurds report Turkish forces and their allied Syrian militias have carried out ethnic cleansing in the enclave that is now marred by insecurity.

Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed concerns that the withdrawal ordered by US President Donald Trump would allow Islamic State to regain territory.

On Monday, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels reinforced the area around Manbij. First Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned, then Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the anti-IS coalition, stepped down.

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