Turkish, FSA forces reportedly begin preparations for Manbij

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Following the liberation of Afrin town center as part of Operation Olive Branch, preparations have begun by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to extend military operations to Manbij to clear PKK-affiliated groups from the region.

Turkish daily Milliyet yesterday reported that Operation Olive Branch forces launched military drills without delay. Arab, Turkmen and Kurdish fighter in the FSA vowed to fight until Syria was completely cleared of PKK terrorists.

Muhammed Şibil, a field commander of the FSA's Hamza Division, which includes a "Kurdish Hawks Brigade," said that their aim is to clear PKK elements from northern Syria up to the Iraqi border. "No matter who we shall encounter, we will eliminate the PKK from these lands," he said. The commander also criticized the U.S. for its broken promises on removing the PKK from the region.

A Kurdish fighter from Hamza Brigade, Ragıp Şeyho, 25, said Daesh, the Assad regime and the PKK were all the same when it comes to their treatment of Kurdish people in Syria. "The Assad regime didn't give even an identity card to Kurdish people for years. Seven years ago, when Turkmens and Arabs gave support to us, we launched an uprising. It is not possible for us to move aside from Arabs and Turkmens. We are all brothers," he said, adding that the PKK exploited Kurdish children for the sake of its own interests.

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