The Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) announced on December 28 that its convoys, along with Turkish forces, are moving towards the frontlines with Manbij in order to “liberate” the northern city.
“The NSA’s conveys, along with Turkish forces, have begun to move towards the frontlines announcing their full readiness to begin military operations to liberate the city [Manbij],” the NSA’s statement reads.
A commander in the SNA’s 1st Corps told the Syrian news outlet Enab Baladi that the attack on Manbij could begin in the upcoming few hours.
“It may begin tonight or tomorrow … the ongoing movements confirm that the operation is near,” the pro-opposition outlet quoted the unnamed commander as saying.
Few hours ago, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) deployed hundreds of well-equipped soldiers around Manbij after the supposed withdrawal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the army’s step a “psychological operation.”
Despite the NSA’s claims, local observers believe that the upcoming hours will not witness any military confrontation around Manbij because U.S. forces are yet to withdraw from the city and a high-level Turkish-Russian meeting will be held in Moscow in the upcoming days.