The Turkish government opposes an agreement between the Syrian government and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which have promised to to surrender the western Manbij regions to the Syrian Army.
The Turkish government has rejected an agreement, concluded between the Syrian government and Kurds, according to which the latter promised to surrender the western Manbij regions to the Syrian Army, as well as called on the US to immediately withdraw the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the city of Manbij, located in Aleppo province, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Speaking about the Euphrates Shield operation, conducted by the Turkish Army and Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in northern Syria, Cavusoglu told reporters that though the Turkish forces have not yet moved towards Manbij, they are going to start operations in the region in the very near future and attack the SDF in Manbij. The minister pointed out that Ankara doesn’t want Washington to continue to provide support to Kurds, as well as stressed that Turkey has several times warned the US that the Turkish forces would attack the SDF soon.
The Cavusoglu’s warning came after it became known that the Tal Rifaat Military Council announced that it would stop to participate in the Euphrates Shield operation and start to fight against the SDF in northern Aleppo in order to recapture villages, which are under its control.
The Foreign Minister also opposed an agreement between the SDF and Russia, according to which Kurds should hand over villages, located near Manbij and controlled by them, to the Syrian government.
According to the SDF, the measure will be taken in order to maintain the security of civilians, residing in Manbij and its surrounding areas, as well as in regions bordering with al-Bab in the western part of Manbij, and to stop occupation of the Syrian territories by Turkey.
As some reports revealed, the Syrian Army intends to conduct a clean-up operation in the towns of Jubb al-Homam, Jubb al-Sultan, Jubb al-Khafa and al-Za’aroureh, as well as in villages, located to the south of Manbij, in order to strengthen its defense lines and prevent any effort of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group to bypass the government-held regions.
Cavusoglu expressed his country’s opposition with the agreement between the SDF and the Syrian Army, claiming that “there are all sorts of news and speculation. This is all untrue. We are now seeing that the Syrian government forces are moving to the east.”
In addition, the Turkish Foreign Minister, announced that Ankara and Moscow agreed to prevent clashes between Syrian troops and FSA militants, claiming that both of them pursue the same goal – to eliminate the IS terrorist group. “We have agreed with Russia on the prevention of clashes between the [FSA] and the Syrian government forces in order to intensify the fight against ISIL,” Cavusoglu said on Thursday.