The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has attacked positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) north of the city of Manbij in the province of Aleppo.
According to reports, the FSA has engaged the SDF in the villages of al-Hosheriye. However, no gains has been made by the FSA so far.
The FSA attack on al-Hosheriye clearly shows that the Turkish leadership is not going to limit its amitions with the area of Afrin and aims to clear as much area as possible from the Kurdish-dominated SDF. It’s unlikely that the FSA and the Turkish Armed Forces launch any large-scale military opeartion against the SDF in the area of Manbij while the Afrin is not under their control. Nonethless, the tensions will continue growing there.
Ankara sees Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces, which are the core of the SDF, as a terrorist organization, the local branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is a Kurdish separatist militia actively operating in southern Turkey and northern Iraq. It’s recognized as a terrorist group in Turkey, the US and many other countries.