8 members of the Syrian border guards deployed to villages west of Manbij have been reportedly killed in Turkish artillery strikes.
Reports on the issue appeared on March 9 in various pro-government blogs but there was no confirmation of the incident from the Syrian government.
The Manbij is now conrolled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Kurdish People’s Protection Units is a core of the group.
According to pro-Turksih sources, clashes are now ongoing west of Manbij between ‘the Syrian opposition’ (pro-Turkish militant groups) and the Kurdish “terrorists” (SDF). The advance of pro-Turkish forces is backed by the Turkish army.
However, according to available photos and videos there are a high number of Syrian servicemen and even Russian troops are now deployed west of Manbij, additionally to the US Special Forces which already operate in the area.
Thus, if the casualties among Syrian government forces are confirmed, this could lead to a major escalation among the key players of the conflict.