Mar 30 2018

US sent additional forces to protect Manbij - VOA

The United States has increased "its special operations troops in the flashpoint town of Manbij in northern Syria" reported Voice of American from the ground, Manbij. 

Currently Turkish Foreign Minister Undersecretary Umit Yalcin is in Washington to meet with the Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. Manbij, a flashpoint town between the U.S. forces and Turkey, is expected the one of the leading discussion topics at the Washington meeting. 

VOA's Rikar Hussain and Zana Omar reported that "Col. Thomas F. Veale, a U.S. military spokesperson and public affairs director for the coalition, said the recent deployment is a protection measure to ensure the safety of coalition troops in the area."

“Coalition forces are establishing a joint coordination mechanism for operations there, through the coalition's official relationship with the Manbij Military Council," (MMC) Veale said. 

It's known that the Manbij Military Council is formed by the local forces, including Syrian Defense Forces (SDF). SDF is made up in majority by Syrian Kurdish fighters, People's Protection Units (YPG). Turkey recognizes YPG as an extension of outlawed People's Workers Party (PKK), and considers both of them as same and terrorist organizations. 

There is no other state in the world recognizes YPG as a terrorist organization.

While the MMC is allied with the U.S. and Coalition forces, President Erdogan says once YPG leaves the city, it will be a new military councils which will be made up by real local people, and several times stated that 90% of Manbij is Arab.

On Wednesday, Turkey's top national security body issued a statement and stated, “Unless the terrorists leave Manbij immediately, Turkey will not hesitate to take the initiative there, as it has done in other regions,” read the council’s statement, signalling a readiness to go beyond rhetoric.