US envoy to Syria visits northern town of Manbij

BEIRUT (AP) — A Kurdish official says the U.S. envoy to Syria has visited the northern town of Manbij, where U.S. and Turkish troops could begin conducting joint patrols in the coming days.

Ebrahim Ebrahim said that James Jeffrey met on Monday with members of the Manbij Civilian Council and briefed them on his recent visit to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Monday's visit to Manbij came a day after army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, told reporters that the soldiers' training is expected to last "several more days," and then will transition to combined patrols.

The Manbij patrols are part of a road map that Ankara and Washington agreed on in June to defuse tensions amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia from the area.