Erbil – Turkish forces launched air raids and artillery strikes on Sunday evening, targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) positions near Manbij city. The SDF sustained a handful of casualties and their local headquarters was damaged.
“The Turkish state launched airstrikes against the Syrian Democratic Forces near Manbij. There are wounded fighters,” the Democratic Union Party (PYD) stated.
Turkey’s military bombed the villages of Yilanli, Qurt Weran and Sheikh Nasr. Sharvan Darwish, an SDF spokesperson, said in a statement that at least four fighters were killed or injured.
Darwish accused Turkey of exploiting the absence of Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to attack villages in Manbij’s countryside. Washington promised Ankara that Kurdish soldiers would be withdrawn from Manbij, after the Islamic State (ISIS) was routed.
Colonel John Dorrian, a US coalition spokesman, confirmed the YPG’s departure on Wednesday. “The YPG have largely left Manbij and the leadership elements are gone. They did leave some people in place to train the Manbij Military Council so that ISIS can’t re-infiltrate and take the city,” he said.
The SDF-led Manbij Military Council said that Turkish forces started bombing the village of Sheikh Nasr the day after the withdrawal.
“Following the withdrawal of the People’s Protection Units from Manbij, after completing their defensive duties, […] Turkey started heavy artillery strikes on the area,” the Manbij Military Council said in a statement.
“We in the Manbij Military Council condemn and denounce these terrorist operations against our civilians, troops and villages,” the council continued.
The Manbij Military Council called on the international community to exert pressure on Turkey and ultimately stop its intervention in Syria. Concluding, the council declared that Sunday’s barrage was evidence of “the colonial mentality of the Turkish state.”
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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