Erdogan: When Al-Bab Is secured, We Will Go for Manbij in Aleppo Province

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Erdogan: When Al-Bab Is secured, We Will Go for Manbij in Aleppo Province

Photo: aa.com.tr

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan announced on Tuesday that Turkey-led forces in Syria are set to liberate the town of Manbij from Kurdish militants (PYD, YPG, PKK) as soon as they liberate the town of al-Bab from ISIS.

“As of now we are leaning on al-Bab, and we have also surrounded, besieged al-Bab from the west. Not enough, from there we will now go to Manbij as well. Why will we go to Manbij, not because we are very curious about it. There is PYD, there is YPG in Manbij. They should leave there, and head east,” Erdogan said.

Currenlty, pro-Turkey militant groups, supported by the Turkish Armed Forces, are competing with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for the right to seize the town of al-Bab from the ISIS terrorist group. This situation has already led to clashes between Turkey-led and Kurdish forces.

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  • VGA

    Maybe the kurds will understand that their only viable allies are the syrian government (their fellow syrians) and the russians, who have proven that they stand by their allies.

    If you expect the americans to save you, I have bad news for you. They won’t.

    • Doom Sternz

      The Kurd’s are not capable of making wise decisions, its to late for them. The Kurd’s are a despicable people who deserve their fate. Syria will be a better country without them.

      • sólyomszem

        yup, but they take the oil fields…

        • Jens Holm

          Bork, shit … Who doesnt ….

        • 888mladen .

          An export it to their masters in Zionist entity..

      • VGA

        I think they will keep being part of Syria because Turkey will not allow them to have their own state.

        • Jens Holm

          Again that propaganda shit from others nightmare even confirming, they curtainly dont want to be in Your country – NO MATTER WHAT.

          Thats what You get of Your narrominded hooligan fanatism. Right now Turks seems to work very hard for many new little PKK`s from other countries.

          No wonder at least som of the YPG`s are so friendly to PKK`s .

          Kurds are diveded by the Bagdad Railroad line – not a logic etnic borderline.

        • Joseph Scott

          Getting an official country of their own hasn’t been the major focus for many years anyway. Ocalan’s Democratic Confederalism tends to reject the state as an oppressive entity, so generally their aim is merely to establish the sort of system they have operating in Rojava now, inside whatever country that happens to be. What they are after is a secular concept of universal human rights, ability to conduct business in their language,and self-government at the local level, rather than the chance to play Westphalian geopolitics.

      • Gregory Louis

        The SAA can’t win without the Kurds help because they almost completely sealed off Syria’s Northern Border without the inclusion of Latakia province. Just like how the Kurds helped the SAA in Aleppo they have to ally quickly so this war can run smoothly I don’t know if they’ll be able to make a state within Syria or Iraq but they try regardless no matter how many poor decisions they make their ideas will never die they’ve been trying for years on end from insurgency to now counter-insurgency.

      • Jens Holm

        Far out. And Kurds are not Kurds.

        Kurds not even did this madnes named as a civil war, and You write its a better country without them.

        Well I can mention a long line of the 57 dirty tribe flags of the French Protectorat of Syria, which certainly deserve less then almost any Kurd.

        They could leave it to us being a western colony or protecttorat. If everything going on there and You decide nothing, and we do -Then forget Syria as it never was.

      • Marek Pejović

        shut it idiot, what do you know? the comment section in South Front is used mostly by people who actually have something in the head and/or want to contribute or at least keep it civil, and your cheap hatred and implicit wish for genocide you better reserve for flies in your pub hole. so be a nice kid and dont pollute the comment section with too much bullshit. here, Erdogan is responsible for bullshit.

        • 888mladen .

          Mate don’t get that uptight. Kurds have taken part in genocide over Armenian Christians way back under Ataturk and currently they are actively trying to cleanse North-Eastern Syria from Assyrian Christians who run away from Al Qaeda in Iraq during and after the 2nd Gulf War. Syrian secular government has provided kindly safe heaven for them. Syrian government has seen nothing but trouble recently from the Kurdish minority. They allied themselves with the US and NATO which have been de facto an occupying force of the sovereign state of Syria. So what is their merit in all that and how should they be rewarded?

          • Joseph Scott

            You read Breitbart too much. The only substantiated attack by the SDF against Assyrian Christians was a battle over some checkpoints in Qamishli that killed a few people on both sides, and wasn’t one-sided. All the articles I have seen claiming that “Kurds routinely attack Christians” can only actually cite the Qamishli incident, and are such ill-researched propaganda nonsense that they also claim the SDF/PYD/YPG/YPJ are Marxist, which is ridiculous. The SDF are Anarcho-Syndicalists (“Democratic Confederalists”) who completely reject the totalitarian State-as-Diety overtones of Marxist-Leninist thought. Their whole system of government is based on maximum local autonomy, with local councils running everything. Most Assyrian Christians are PART of the SDF, in either the Syriac Military Council or Suturo.

      • Jacek Wolski

        Wash your filthy rotten mouth out with soap. The world will be a better place without your retarded comments.

        • Terence Silvestre Jr.

          More respect please. Each of us has the right to say what he thinks regardless of whether the opinion is to our liking or not my friend. It is about being critical being as objective as possible without offending anyone.

        • Terence Silvestre Jr.

          More respect please. Each of us has the right to say what he thinks regardless of whether the opinion is to our liking or not my friend. It is about being critical being as objective as possible without offending anyone.

    • Jens Holm

      Far out. YPG gone far out according to Al Bab and will pay for it and are.

      That doesnt make Your last sentence reliable. You and we dont know. That Assads & Russians are the solution are pure and poor speculations as well.

      • Joseph Scott

        Regardless of ‘how’ reliable you think the Russians and Syrians are, the point VGA is making, which is wholly correct, are that Russia and Syria are the only useful allies available for the SDF at this point. The Turks intend to smash Rojava, and the US won’t, and can’t do anything about it. The US has already basically said the Turks could have Manbij, which SDF has no intention of accepting, since both some of the Kurds in YPG/YPJ and some of the Arabs in SDF live in Manbij and the surrounding area. (A point the US acknowledges, but ignores, because they have no answers.)

        The SDF has made it unmistakable clear they are going to fight for Manbij. They also announced a few hours ago that they will stop the ar-Raqqa operation, and redeploy the entire force of 40,000 against eh Turks/FSA attacking towards Manbij. They already started shifting some of the troops their to the Manbij front days ago. The US isn’t prepared to back the SDF against their NATO ‘ally,’ so they have no help to offer. Syria, on the other hand, wants the Turks and their pet jihadists gone from northern Syria, and they can provide air cover, artillery support and weapons. So, they are actually the ONLY useful people for the SDF to ally with.

        • Jeff Lewin

          There can only be one winner in the conflict between Syria and the insurgency. Yes, this does limit the options for the Kurds.

        • abuqahwa

          Good analysis JS, VGA and others, I firmly believe there is co-ordinated agreement by NATO and Russia to accept Turkish occupation of northern Syria west of Euphrates down to Latitude 36,5 N – this parallel is EXACTLY where the main Turkish bases (Aktarin) and Objectives lie. Al-Bab has become a sideshow, lost strategic significance once the MSR M4 highway and northwards routes were cut. Manbij is the key – can or will this be defended by YPG/SDF ? Who will engage Turkish air or artillery giving direct support to TAF advance on Manbij and to Euphrates ? Can you say for sure that SDF are re-inforcing west or is it the other way round ? that is in return for US promise of a protected Rojava state the Kurds will abandon Manbij and pull back across the last crossing at Hamman al-Kabiir ? Any hard intel on actual deployments ? Meantime very suspicious stalling of SDF twin axes advance on Raqqa?

        • Jens Holm

          Well You comment here make great sense, but as I remember it US has never granted SDF as well as YPG should have Manbij County.

          The job was to delay transportation and other logistics to Raqqa and to liberate the area from ISIS.

          Next step by USA/Nato was to avoid confrontation with the Turks and that could be done by having no YPG`s there as well as taking no territory.

          Both are broken – especially by YPG. We have never promosed any support for connecting those 4 enclaves by kurdish territory.

          Im not denying good sense about support being a dog to Assad, but as seen Assads didnt support going east from Afrin – only was airstrike was done. And that was/is an easy one and could be done by 1 heavy 150 mm canon shooting 30 km now and then as a warning.

          Kurds are spendable to Assads, thats why they are only neutral to them and do their own agenda.

          I have written about that several times here and think YPG`s in this matter are mad persons. They should not take that much territory, let the big ones, which made the civilwar, kill each other and secure the rest building after the systems, which they more or les agree with SDF about – and make respect for it among the civilians in Syria as well as contacts abroad.

          Therefore its also madness taking Raqqa. It would make much more sense to me to take Tabqa from the eastern side of Eufrat cutting the pipeline, the water to irrigation as well as the the powerplant for elctricity. Assad lake is a very good defence line against any others at the other side of it.

          If YPG and SDF will defend Manbij Counsil I hope they have some RPG`s for it in some secret store. But from me Good Luck.

          Im sure Assads wont give Kurds any support without a heavy price.

          • Joseph Scott

            Yes, you are correct that the US has always insisted the the SDF would
            leave Manbij, in order to appease the Turks. The problem is that this was a typically unrealistic US fantasy-land ‘solution.’ The Manbij Military Coincil is a de-facto part of the SDF, convenient political fictions notwithstanding. Many Kurds live in Manbij, and even many of the Arab majority of Manbij support SDF. The fighters who live in the city consider themselves SDF and many went to ar-Raqqa to fight alongside their SDF brothers and sisters. Now they are coming back, and bringing their comrades with them. The notion that the SDF would give up Manbij just isn’t realistic. Their people live there. They just nodded and rolled their eyes to appease the US.

            Yes, Assad isn’t providing much support. If Assad really only sees them as expendable assets to soak up FSA and Turks with, he is being foolish, because they fight better then his army, and they aren’t going away. Even if Rojava is reduced in size by the Turks, he will still have to deal with the SDF in the end, and the Turks as well. However, I think he just wants to make sure SDF appreciate that he is their only useful ally, and so wants them to feel a little pressure before he makes a deal. He is afraid they want an independent country, though I don’t think they are seeking that. What the SDF want amounts to little more than the democratic reforms Assad has promised. They don’t claim to be an independent country in Rojava. They just want local government councils from NSR-Rojava down to the village level, so that each area is ruled by it’s own people, the freedom for each citizen to use their native language, and secularly based universal human rights, not Islamic Law, as the legal foundation. If Assad really wants to let the Syrian people decide, then he should take their offer. The majority of people in Rojava, Kurdish and non-Kurdish, support the system SDF has built there.

            I think SDF have been successful in building support from the locals. There are some iconoclasts who want the old Islamic rules, but the majority support the SDF in NSR-Rojava. Even the Syrian Turks there support them. It’s just governments they can’t get to help them.

            They were only moving on ar-Raqqa to keep the support of the US. Now that the US won’t help them against the Turks and FSA, they are backing
            off of that operation, as they warned they would do before the began in October. But as usual, the fantasising US didn’t pay attention to their warning.

            I hope someone gives them some ATGMs. It would be pretty ridiculous if
            the only fully democratic faction couldn’t get any; a sad statement about the values that all of the intervening governments stand for. In any case, the Turks haven’t actually made much progress against them so far. On the Afrin side, they took back all the territory they initially lost to the FSA/Turks, and then took a bit more on top of that. On the Manbij side, they’ve lost two villages, and that is with IS getting involved. Given that the Turks have two armoured/mechanised brigades, at least half a Commando battalion, and their horde of FSA cannon-fodder, the SDF is doing pretty well so far. I don’t think the Turks and FSA have enough local forces to fight through the whole SDF force moving from ar-Raqqa. The Turks will need to bring in additional brigades if they really want Manbij.

          • abuqahwa

            Thank you for your informed analysis. I broadly agree but if Turkey does quickly mount a combined ground-air offensive from the Dadat riverline directly south the SDF/YPG defense could crumble without, as you say, ATGMs (I think SDF has some MILANs with French SF attached) and with no counter air. Re. Raqqa if SDF do suspend ops I fear a US cowboy airborne op to secure & seize main Tabqa dam and airfield and set up a blocking force on southern bank . Just idle speculation I guess, depends how the SDF/US/TURK/FSA dynamic works out.

          • Joseph Scott

            Yes, Turkey could be very dangerous if it wanted to. The question is whether they are willing to make such a sizeable and overt invasion. That probably won’t play well in NATO and the EU (up for debate how much Erdogan cares, but he is hoping for EU membership), and how much confidence does Erdogan have in his military? I don’t think he is very well liked by a large portion of it, given his concerted attempt to destroy everything Ataturk stood for, and given the scale of his crackdown, I think he knows that too. How bold is he feeling?

            Ironically, the US is probably more willing to consider the option you suggest since the election. I’m sure Townsend would consider it if he thought he could get away with it.

        • 888mladen .

          And the key word is “useful”. A prostitute is useful to her client too but that doesn’t make her a chaste woman. Does it?

          • Joseph Scott

            Personally, I think chaste women (and chastity) are highly overrated. Anyway, this is international politics. Where do you see these pure, altruistic, loyal-to-the-end allies? EVERYBODY in this mess is playing for whatever they can get. Do you see the Russians stepping up to defend Syria from all foreign incursions, like this Turkish invasion? No, you don’t, because it s not seen as being in their strategic interest to do so. And as for everybody else, well, between the USA, the British, the French, the Saudis, Qataris, the Turks, the Israelis, the Iranians and the SDF I think the SDF are by FAR the most trustworthy of that, and the most genuinely democratic group I can immediately think of.

    • Joseph Scott

      They are moving in the direction. The SDF just threatened to halt the attack on ar-Raqqa and redploy the entire force to the Manbij front, if the US won’t halt the Turkish/FSA.

    • Jeff Lewin

      I might sympathize with the Kurds as a stateless people, but the hidden hands of the Gulf Monarchies, the liberal West, and of Tel Aviv intend to exploit them as pawns.

    • 888mladen .

      Well who can trust them after all these treachery?

      • Joseph Scott

        Which treachery? They have been looking out for themselves in an environment where everyone is playing everyone else for all they can get.

      • VGA

        If the war in Syria is ever going to end and the americunts and the turkeys expelled, there have to be some concessions made. Assad is no saint either.

  • SnowCatzor

    Dogface Erdogan is jumping the gun a bit if he’s already talking about ‘liberating’ [sic] Manbij. If Aleppo & Mosul are any indication, Al Bab is not going to be easy or quick to take control of (Especially whilst fighting the Kurds as well).

    They’ve been able to make fairly quick progress so far because most of the ground they’ve taken was either open territory or just small villages, nor was ISIS very heavily fortified along the Turkish border. However Al Bab will be heavily fortified by ISIL so I’m confident it probably won’t fall until at least after Eastern Aleppo’s liberation by the SAA. Even then it’s not clear which side will actually be able to claim Al Bab.

    It’s also interesting to note that Dogface is contradicting what his ‘Rebel’ jihadist pets have said recently about attacking Aleppo after Al Bab. Sounds like his pets are going to disappointed, unless Erdogan is lying of course (which is a decent possibility).

  • Terence Silvestre Jr.

    The Syrians do not trust the Kurds as allies, as they seek their own autonomy and will do anything to achieve it, even by making war on the already exhausted Syrian army. Despite several threats from the Syrian government and Russia’s own condemnation of the illegal Turkish presence on Syrian territory, Erdogan has not yet responded to any of the claims as it always does by threatening and presuming its power and rights.

    For all this I suspect that Turkey is in Syria with all the blessing of both Russia and Syria to put a halt to the ingrained Kurdish autonomous plans, oscillating and weakening them while Syria, Russia and their allies are recovering from their military commitments.

    Let us always remember that the first casualties in any war are truth and reality on the ground.

  • Marek Pejović

    good, let him be occupied (LOL) with his little fixiation in north syria. btw. newsflash, Erdi: YPG is not just in Manbij, it’s EVERYWHERE in north Syria…. what now? Tureky has gotten itself in the same position as Saudi: in a quagmire which will suck them in and result in Erdi’s little regime to capsize or at least be substantially weaker. oops. if only they’d have seen it coming.

    • Jeff Lewin

      The Turks are capable of causing far more death and destruction than the Saudis, after getting choice prices on US military equipment for decades. They manufacture their own F-16s, and have an air force more than twice the size of Britain’s RAF.

      • Jacek Wolski

        Why don’t the Turks fly those Falcons across the Syrian sky?? Oh, thats right, SAA have some nifty Russian technology.

        • abuqahwa

          Turks are flying combat air sorties in Syrian airspace right now – bombing ISIS at Al-Bab and Kurds further east in support of their FSA merc outfits.

          • Jacek Wolski

            And what sources are you getting this information from?

          • Jens Holm

            Give it a try Yourself. Several sources confirm that kind of military facts.

          • Jacek Wolski

            Ok, I’ll give it a try
            Ankara halted air support for its ground incursion into Syria on October 22, after Damascus vowed to shoot down Turkish Air Force planes over Syrian skies, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity. The official added that the coalition forces have also decreased the number of flights in northern Syria.

            Syria’s air defense capabilities have been widely boosted after Russia deployed its mobile S-400 and S-300 missile batteries earlier this year to protect its personnel on the ground. Russian hardware has the ability to shoot down planes and cruise missiles over at least 250 miles (402km) in all directions from western Syria.

            Two days before Turkey halted its military flights over Syria, Damascus, which called the Turkish invasion a violation of national sovereignty, warned that it would shoot down any Turkish warplanes.

            “Any attempt to once again breach Syrian airspace by Turkish warplanes will be dealt with and they will be brought down by all means available,” warned Damascus on October 20. The presence of Turkish troops in Syria is a “dangerous escalation and flagrant breach of Syria’s sovereignty”

          • Jens Holm

            Hope those Turks will calm down and stop, but it doesnt look like that.

            I just saw Assads 2 days ago had gathered troops east of Aleppo where ISIS has attacked many times. It will be very strange if SAA take Al Bab after ISIS, Kurds and Turks has killed each other – so to speak.

            Your argumentation seems fair enough. Thaks. Very hard work to find truth if there are eny, and for the moment I have many vacant days and night for it.

            I also have my own aganda. Im improming my lousy english writing, because I have only spoken it for many years in the Tourist season. I have also learned a lot of how arabs and other in the Middle East are compared to them which live here.

            I have written like this for many years in my homeland. Not much difference exept for the arabic touch.

          • Jacek Wolski

            Your English is not bad, and keep up your good work as the web needs more noble people like yourself!

          • Jeff Lewin

            :(

        • Jeff Lewin

          It boils down to the cost/benefit angle of this conflict. If the Turks think they can get away with striking Syrian air bases where Russian Aerospace Forces are operating, that might be one of the last mistakes they ever make.

  • Terence Silvestre Jr.

    It is more than obvious that there is a secret agreement between Syria, Russia and Turkey against the Kurds being the latter a common enemy after the last military clash between them an the Pro-Syrians troops months ago.

    I imagine that the agreement is to keep the project of a Kurdish autonomous state at bay while Turkish military actions on the other hand weaken them until they are able to reduce as much as possible their warlike capacity and their territories of influence and then subject them to the will of the Syrian government which would be very useful in maintaining the unity of all Syria as a whole and strong country.

    That is why any public condemnation by the Syrian and Russian government of the Turkish incursion’s into Syrian territory would be only to disguise, reasons why Erdogan has never answered and has not heeded the claims as it is his custom with his Iraqi counterpart for his military activities In full iraki territory.

    Always remember that the first fatal victim of war is the truth for better or worse.

    However, may God prosper Syria along with all its allies in whatever they do for the good of the region.

    • 888mladen .

      Excellent. However how could truth as a first victim of war be for better? Does that mean that we would be better off with lies?

      • Terence Silvestre Jr.

        Everything that leads to final victory including deceit and lies for strategic purposes or not, will always be good for the victorious and bad for the loser.
        Unfortunately we are talking about war where any medium be good or bad prevails while it suits the interests of one or another side.
        Whether we accept it or not is the raw reality my friend.

      • Terence Silvestre Jr.

        If killing enemies is a good thing in the war, why should not they also lie and deceive by victimizing the truth while benefiting the interests of one of the two sides and leads him to victory my friend?

        • 888mladen .

          You mean moral victory? It didn’t help Hilary. What you’ve written smacks on Machiavellism. Doesn’t it?

          • Terence Silvestre Jr.

            What are you talking about, you’re lucid, my friend? Of what you speak has nothing to do with the subject of our comments I’m afraid.