The development comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier Ankara was ready to start an operation against the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Manbij if Washington does not remove the militia from there.
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had called on Friday the Syrian government forces to take control over Manbij amid Turkey’s plans to launch a military operation on the city, the YPG said Friday.
“Due to the invading Turkish state’s threats to invade northern Syria and displace its people similarly to al-Bab, Jarablus and Afrin, we as the People’s Protection Units, following the withdrawal of our forces from Manbij before, announce that our forces will be focusing on the fight against ISIS* [Daesh] on all the fronts in the east of the Euphrates,” the YPG said in a statement.
“In conjunction with this, we invite the Syrian government forces which are obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders, to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion,” the statement added.
The Syrian Arab Army also stated it would “guarantee full security for all Syrian citizens and others” present in Manbij.
“Considering the obligations of the army to respond to the call by the people of Manbij, the General Staff declares that the army has entered Manbij and raised the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic there”, the statement read as cited by the Syrian state broadcaster.
Three days ago on December 25th, thousands of Syrian soldiers were deployed at the outskirts of Manbij.
Thousands of #Syrian Arab Army soldiers are deployed to the west of #Manbij which might soon confront the #Turkish backed & ex-#AlQaeda Jihadists tomorrow. Here is the video showing #Syrian soldiers who have formed a coalition with #YPG/#SDF. pic.twitter.com/158phiC7eR
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) December 25, 2018
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey was ready to launch an operation against the YPG in Manbij if the United States did not remove the militia from there. He later noted that the start of the operation was postponed following a phone conversation with Trump, who decided to withdraw US troops from Syria after the call.
The surprise withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria was announced on Wednesday after Trump said that the objective to defeat the Daesh terror group had been achieved.
Washington’s support for Syrian Kurdish fighters who Turkey regards as part of the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party has long soured its bilateral relations with Ankara.