Turkey, Middle East

Syrian opposition sends troops to Manbij

Turkey-backed armed opposition deploys new military reinforcements, armed vehicles on Manbij border line

28.12.2018
Syrian opposition sends troops to Manbij

Ankara

By Omer Koparan and Adham Kako

AZAZ, Syria 

The Syrian armed opposition on Friday sent new military reinforcements to the Euphrates Shield Operation area and Manbij frontline in Syria.

After reports of deployment of regime troops to a key northern region, the Hamza Division, which is a member of the Turkey-backed Free Syria Army (FSA), dispatched fighters and armored vehicles to the Manbij border line, according to a statement by Syrian National Army, a component of the FSA.

The troops will take up important tasks during a highly anticipated Turkish military operation in the northern city of Manbij.

FSA National Army said "it's fully ready to liberate Manbij upon the call of the people of Manbij," the statement added.

Earlier on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Syria's Assad regime "is running a psychological operation".

He added: "We are against the partitioning of Syria. Our goal is terrorist groups leaving there. If the [terrorist] groups leave, then there is no job left for us."

Erdogan also said a high-powered Turkish delegation will visit Moscow early Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria, including Manbij.

On Nov. 1, before the announcement that U.S. forces would leave Syria, Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Manbij as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists to stabilize the region.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

Erdogan has signaled that a cross-border operation against the terrorist PYD/YPG in Syria will happen soon. Since 2016, Ankara has successfully carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week made the surprise announcement that the U.S. would withdraw its troops from Syria. The decision followed Trump's phone call with Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.

U.S. troops in Syria have been cooperating with the YPG/PKK to fight Daesh, against Turkey’s objections that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.

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