US backed Kurds hand over Manbij area to Syrian Army to block Turkey


… from  Southfront

VT has reports of “staged” fighting in Al-Bab, plus a total absence of independent reporting on the Turkish side

[ Editor’s Note:  We have a very crazy situation continuing here, a tightrope act that we cannot see being sustained.  Here we are in the middle of the 4th Geneva talks with the Syrian opposition, which are progressing, and we have Turkey as a member of the Russia and Iran Tripartite group, pledged to honor Syria’s territorial sovereignty.

It has moved on Al-Bab with no coordination and no diplomatic opposition from Iran or Russia, and then announces it will take Manbji, also. When Iran’s Rouhani met with Erdogan this week there were no public accusations of betrayal or ultimatums.

Then we have the U.S. General Votel signalling that more troops, special forces ones, would be necessary along with more mobile heavy weapons for the YPG forces to continue its push on Raqqa.

Today we have this story that the YPG is turning over a large buffer zone between it and the Turkish incursion forces, setting up a confrontation with Syria. But we have to ask where is Syria going to find the troops to hold this new front and supply them logistically. And of course even that will not be feasible without a pledge of Russian air cover, so we have a very dangerous situation for an expansion of the war.

Russia stated today that there are no instances of YPG attacks on Turkey, inferring that Turkey has no justifiable security need to continues its push toward Manbji. One would think that these issues would have been worked out when the Tripartite group was formed. We can see now that they were not, or someone has changed their mind, or never intended to honor their commitments.

The big question mark is how this will effect the peace talks, and could a major flare up within the Tripartite group wreck the ceasefire, if even via a ripple effect. This is a moving target story so we will be watching it closely... Jim W. Dean ]


– First published  …  March 02,  2017

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) primarily consisting of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will hand over wide areas west of the northern Syrian town of Manbij controlled by the SDF/YPG, according to a statement released by the so-called Manbij Miltiary Council (MMC) – another entity created to hide the presence of Kurdish YPG fighters in the area.

Click to see the full-size image

Click to see the full-size image

“Defending the civilians and protecting them from the adverse impact of the war, ensuring the security of Manbj and frustrating the invasion plans of the Turkish army against Syrian soil are the goals we we have taken for all the peoples living on the lands of Syria.

In order to realize these goals of ours, we as Manbij Military Council state that we have handed over the defense of the line – where villages between the positions of our forces in western Manbij and Turkish-affiliated gangs are located – to Syrian state forces as part of the alliance we have made with Russian officials,” the Kurdish Hawar News Agency quotes the MMC statement.

Thus, the SDF wants to use Syrian army troops as a buffer against Turkish-backed militant groups in northern Syria and refers that this decision is made after talks with “Russia” – a clear aim to use the Russian and Syrian military and diplomatic capabilities to defend itself from Turkey.

SF recalls that Talal Silo, a spokesman for the SDF, argued that the US is the only SDF partner in Syria just few months ago (August, 2016):

“It’s forbidden to negotiate with the Russians because we seek for an alliance with the United States. It’s impossible to communicate with any other party and to not lose the credibility of the international coalition. Of course, we are free, but we can not attack if there is not signal from the Americans.”

“We will not unite with the Syrian army against ISIS because our forces operate only with the forces of the international coalition led by the United States. We are partners of the United States and the coalition. They make decisions. There can’t be a coordination between the Russians and us. Because first of all we have a strategic partnership with the international coalition led by the United States.”

It seems the SDF/YPG dramatically changed its attitude in March 2017 after it had became clear that few US Special Forces troops were not enough to save the “US-backed opposition force” from the Turks.

We recall after taking control of al-Bab, Ankara openly announced that it’s going to clear Manbij from PKK-linked terrorists.

Turkey sees the YPG as just a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which Turkey has been at war almost continuously since 1984. In turn, the PKK seeks to establish an independent Kurdish state in southern Turkey.

Syrian War Report, March 1, 2017

Intense clashes already took place between Ankara-led forces and the YPG west of Manbij and both sides suffered casualties in late February and early March.

Turkey has been also deploying additional troops and military equipment in Syria and Ankara-led militant groups are preparing to storm the important YPG-held town of Tell Rifat.

There is still no official reports which areas the Syrian army will control in the Manbij countryside. However, there are two options (important – the map in the article shows approximate areas which could be transfered to the Syrian army):

  1. The Syrian army enters villages west of Manbij (1 on the map). Thus, Ankara will not be able to attack the YPG/SDF from this direction because this will lead to an escalation between Turkey and the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance. This is not a useful option for Ankara at this moment. In this case, Turkey-led forces will be able to attack Manbij only from the direction of Jarabulus, from the south.
  2. The Syrian army enters villages west and north of Manbij (1, 2 on the map). This will prevent any Turkish attempts to attack the SDF/YPG in the coutnryside of Manbij. On the other hand, this option pushes the “US-backed force” to transfer more villages to the Syrian government.

In any case, one problem will remain. Ankara-led forces will still be able to attack the YPG/SDF in northwestern Syria and Tell Rifat will be an obvious target for this effort.


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Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor

Jim W. Dean is managing editor of Veterans Today wearing many hats from day to day operations, development, writing and editing articles.

He has an active schedule of TV and radio interviews.

Jim comes from an old military family dating back to the American Revolution. Dozens of Confederate ancestors fought for the South in the War Between the States. Uncles fought in WWII and Korea. His father was a WWII P-40 and later P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. Vietnam found several uncles serving, a cousin, and brother Wendell as a young Ranger officer. His mother was a WWII widow at 16, her first husband killed with all 580 aboard when the SS Paul Hamilton, an ammunition ship with 7000 tons of explosives aboard, was torpedoed off the coast of Algiers.

He has been writing, speaking and doing public relations, television, consulting and now multimedia work for a variety of American heritage, historical, military, veterans and Intel platforms. Jim's only film appearance was in the PBS Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, and he has guest lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon.

Currently he is working to take his extensive historical video archives on line to assist his affiliated organizations with their website multimedia efforts, such as the Military Order of World Wars, Atlanta, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans , Assoc. for Intelligence Officers, the Navy League, Georgia Heritage Council, National Memorial Assoc.of Georgia.

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    • And even if the major fighting calms down, the terrorist backers can keep a terror war going in Syrian forever, and the catch there is that triggering a boomerang terror war on them, the suicide bomber type, to give those countries a bigger taste of what life is like when you can’t defend soft targets. The longer that state sponsored terrorism goes on the more likely we are to see this.

    • Yes Mr. Dean, that is a possibility also. But it will probably not occur, since it hasn’t yet.

      What is more likely to occur, and would work ridiculously well, is a mass-migration of volunteer “refugees” into Europe.

      Iran could certainly organise this, and use Turkey as the main conduit. Turkey has already shown that it would embrace this as a means to put its Kurds on the bus.

      Pakistan alone has close to 200 million people. If Iran were to offer free bus rides to the Greek border, a hundred dollars of folding money, sandwiches and advice, 20 million Pakistanis would turn up at Zahedan — the 4 million Afghanis in Pakistan would be fighting to go first.

      There are about a half a billion people in the countries most affected by this Zionist war on Islam. The low hanging fruit — the 50 plus million refugees, internally displaced, injured, orphaned, widowed, or otherwise worst affected could be helped first to peacefully arrive at Turkey’s border with the EU.

    • We have already seen the first wave of this migration — most likely initiated by Israel — and the conduits are now firmly in place. It wouldn’t take a huge effort on Iran’s part to now pick up the banner and put 50 million volunteers on the bus. This initial group would settle and occupy Europe, get established and documented, and then send home for Momma and the kids.

      An organised, peaceful, occupation and settlement “boomerang effect” targeting Europe would be far more effective than terror attacks. It would make more sense for the organisers of the coming mass-migration to cull the potential terrorists from the herd to prevent the occupied Europeans from resisting on security grounds.

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