A 10,000-strong force is already prepared for a military operation against the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces in the Syrian city of Manbij, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the TFSA Haitham Afeisi told in an intervew with Yeni Şafak daily.
“We have no deficiencies in terms of weapons, ammunition or fighters, and we are morally ready as well. A 10,000-strong force is ready for Manbij,” the daily quoted Afeisi as saying.
According to Afeisi, the Manbij operation will follow after the TFSA and the Turkish Armed Forces finish their operation against Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces [these groups are the core of the SDF] in the Afrin area.
Furthermore, the TFSA representative added that the TFSA is ready to “battle U.S. forces” in Manbij if it’s needed.
“We regard Manbij as strategically important as Afrin, so as Syria’s National Army (“al-Jaysh al-Watani”) we have declared war against the Kurdistan workers’ Party (PKK) [Anakara says that the YPG/YPJ is a Syrian branch of the PKK] formations in Manbij. Rather than the PKK, the U.S. is the more pressing problem. In the case that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the FSA were to enter Manbij, the U.S., as it did in Afrin, will withdraw its support from the terrorists. If it does not, we will battle U.S. forces deployed in that region as well,” Afeisi said. “Operation Euphrates Shield will continue until Syrian people find peace. The forces that use every means to prevent Syrian people from being in power in their own regions will have to face the determination of Turkey and Syria’s National Army. We have come to an agreement with Ankara on all matters. Manbij is not the final destination; we won’t stop until Hasakah, Ayn Issa, Ayn al-Arab, Ras al-Ayn, Al-Malikiyah, and Tal Abyad are purged of terror.“
According to the report, the TFSA now unites 30 militant groups and has about 22,000 fighters in its ranks.