Will Kurds attack Turkish forces at Manbij?

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Turkish troops continue patrolling the outskirts of the Kurdish-held city of Manbij in northern Syria but have not yet entered the city. Ankara and Washington agreed on the withdrawal of Kurdish units in the area, but the Turks accuse the Americans of violating the treaty by allowing the replacement of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) with Kurdish-style popular councils.

Commander of the Manbij Military Council and part of the Kurdish majority and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Helil Bozi, said that Turkish forces will be attacked if they enter the city.

“Information on the possible entry of Turkish troops into Manbij is not true.” According to an agreement with the US, Turkish forces patrol the border city on the outskirts of Manbij in the Sajur River area,” Bozi said. “We recently met with representatives of the coalition forces and they promised to ensure Manbij’s security and prevent anyone from entering the territory. However, in the event of an unforeseen situation, we intend to resist the Turkish military,” he emphasized.

On Monday, the Fars news agency reported that two more US force convoys arrived in the vicinity of Manbij, completing three other bases in the area. Turkey said it had deployed its seventh convoy in the area over the weekend.

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Turkish media accused the US of replacing the Kurdish militias that had ruled the city by the so-called “Manbij Local Council,” which allegedly consists of members belonging to the same militias.

Turkey considers the YPG are a terrorist organization as it is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group that not only Ankara, but also Washington, recognizes as a terrorist group. However, the US hypocritically supports the YPG while considering its parent organization a terrorist organization. This has been a major cause of tension between the US and Turkey.

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