As the defense of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces is crumbling under pressure from Turkey-led forces, the situation is northern Syria is becoming more and more tense.
Over the past few days, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have deployed several groups of reinforcements near the SDF-held town of Manbij preparing to take control of it in the event of the further development of the crisis. There are two situations that would set preconditions for such a move:
- The SDF and the SAA reach an agreement over the town and the SAA enters Manbij in order to protect it from Turkey;
- The SDF once again rejects protection proposed by the SAA and Manbij becomes a target of the Turkish military operation. In this event there are no doubts that the SDF will lose the battle for Manbij. So, the SAA’s main goal would be to prevent Turkey from taking control of Manbij.