FSA readies to liberate Manbij from YPG terrorists
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULSep 02, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Sep 02, 2016 12:00 am
The Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has widened the area cleared of DAESH terrorists, making significant advances to reach as close as 11 kilometers from Manbij, which is currently held by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG) on the eighth day of Operation Euphrates Shield.
According to Hürriyet daily's report on Thursday, the FSA has deployed its forces near to Manbij, ahead of an operation to liberate the town, with support from Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) tanks, while waiting for YPG terrorists to leave the town.
The FSA has cleared 32 villages of DAESH since the launch of the operation and gained an area of over 400 kilometers wide on Turkey's border, and nearly 25 kilometers of depth into Syria. The security of the seized areas controlled by the FSA's newly established security posts allows a thorough investigation of the route for possible DAESH and YPG elements.
Meanwhile, the Sultan Murat Brigades, a Syrian Turkmen group that is part of the FSA, also plans to liberate the town al-Bab from DAESH after the completion of the operation in the towns of Gavureli and Çobanbey, located across from the Elbeyli district of Turkey's southeastern Kilis province. Syria's al-Bab has been a DAESH strategic stronghold and a haven for the group's members escaping Jarablus and Manbij. A commander from the FSA's Faylaq al-Sham said, "DAESH fighters have withdrawn from several villages on the outskirts of Jarablus and are heading south toward the city of al-Bab."
It also strategically lies between Manbij and Afrin, an area that the PYD has planned to seize in order to connect their cantons.
As the situation in northern Syria gets more complex with the FSA marching toward Manbij and the YPG vowing to defend the town with the help of the PKK, the U.S. still keeps silent over YPG attacks on the Turkish military. A Turkish tank was hit by the YPG last week, leading to the death of a Turkish soldier. NATO and Washington did not condemn the attack, which was interpreted by many as a sign of a lack of solidarity.
Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched on Aug. 24, aims to improve security and support coalition forces by eliminating the terror threat along Turkey's border through Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery and jets.
The operation is in line with Turkey's right to self-defense, borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to the country's armed forces by Parliament in 2014 and extended for another year in September 2015.
Operations by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which has been actively fighting DAESH, have significantly contributed to the ongoing efforts of the U.S.-backed international coalition against the terror group.