Turkey says Syrian forces should not be allowed in Syria’s Manbij

Turkey says Syrian forces should not be allowed in Syria’s Manbij – Ahval

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy on Friday said Syrian government forces should not be allowed in Manbij, state-run Anadolu Agency reported .

Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) intensified talks with the Syrian government following the U.S. withdrawal decision. Kurdish forces withdrew Manbij and invited Syrian forces to replace them amid fears that Turkish troops would attack.

“The U.S. withdrawal process from Syria should not serve the divisive agenda of PYD/YPG. There should not be a fait accompli on the ground,” Anadolu Agency quoted Aksoy as saying.

“The YPG’s efforts to stick the regime in Manbij must absolutely not be allowed,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “liberating Manbij from the PYD/YPG is a matter of national security for us,” he added.

Regarding the situation in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, a great human tragedy was prevented by the Idlib deal agreed by Russia, Iran and Turkey, according to Aksoy.

“The deal won the appreciation of the international community,” he told reporters in the capital city of Ankara. “Turkey will not allow terrorist provocations to damage the deal to keep the peace in Idlib,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month announced plans to launch an offensive into neighbouring Syria’s Manbij and east of Euphrates river, targeting the U.S.-backed People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it sees as a threat and has vowed to destroy. YPG militants have been partners to the U.S. in pushing the Islamic State (ISIS) out of most of northern Syria.

Turkey’s military offensive, however, was postponed following the U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of withdrawal from Syria on Dec. 19.

The deployment of Turkish soldiers will begin along a 500-kilometre-long front from ten different locations, 10 kilometres deep into the border, with the aim of clearing an area of 30,000 square kilometres from Kurdish militants, Yeni Şafak said .

The second phase of the attack will involve advancing ten additional kilometres from the border, it added, noting that the Turkish military has taken ‘’intel and security measures to counter any possible tribal resistance in regions east of the Euphrates.’’

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