According to recent reports by coalition sources, the Turkish military “will not” advance into the Manbij territories in Syria. Manbij is presently under the protection of United States led coalition forces as well as the Manbij Military Council that manages the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stationed in the region. Coalition spokesman, United States Army Colonel Sean Ryan, was questioned by press on how the coalition intended to coordinate their patrols and movements with the Turkish military. Col. Ryan told reporters that, “They’re independent coordinations, they’re not joint patrols. I can tell you that Turkish soldiers will not go into Manbij.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials have apparently claimed that the military forces will eradicate the “terrorists” residing in Manbij. Ryan added that presently, “[The] Manbij Military Council is in control of all the area, and so this will just be basically along the northern demarcation line is where the conflict will take to it.” Press questioned how the coalition could guarantee the locals that the Turkish military will not be allowed to enter the region. Ryan claims there is “an agreement between both countries,” and “all the details are still going to come out.” He concluded with, “And I haven’t seen the final say on that, but from what we’re being told on our side is they will not enter Manbij, or any other area, from the 4 June agreement.”
Currently there are multiple patrols being sent out by Turkey along the border of the city near Sajur but within the reach of Operation Euphrates Shield. On a side note, Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad claims the activity of the coalition and Turkish soldiers is an “incursion” into Syria. The United States and coalition forces are prepared to stand by their partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have close connections to the YPG and PKK. Both organizations are considered to be terrorist groups by Turkey and arguably the sole reason for their military aggression in the region.
Featured image: United States special operations forces in a village near Manbij, acting as advisors to the Syrian Democratic Forces and as peacekeepers to deter Turkey from further attacks. By Mahmoud Bali (VOA) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons