Middle East N. Syria: YPG-led forces clash with Turkey-backed rebels around Manbij

N. Syria: YPG-led forces clash with Turkey-backed rebels around Manbij
A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter walks in the silos and mills of Manbij after the SDF took control of it, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Rodi Said)

MANBIJ, Syria (Kurdistan24) – Heavy clashes erupted on Monday between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Turkey-backed Syrian rebels in the vicinity of the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

Kurdistan24 learned from the press office of the local council in Manbij, known as Manbij Military Council, an SDF ally, that their fighters destroyed a Turkish tank in the village of Sheikh Naser west of Manbij.

The clashes broke out when the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels on Sunday attacked the western rural areas of Manbij along with airstrikes by the Turkish warplanes.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Sharvan Darwish, an SDF and MMC senior command and spokesperson, said the Turkish army launched intensive airstrikes on several villages west of Manbij.

"After the YPG withdrew completely from Manbij to join the Raqqa Battle, the Turkish warplanes and their allies on the ground shelled the villages of Sheikh Nasser, Qara Weran, and Aylan in the western side of the town," he said.

Regarding the casualties, Darwish said the MMC fighters who stayed in Manbij lost at least one fighter, and several others were wounded.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the MMC called for the US-backed coalition to keep their faith in protecting the military council positions in case attacked by Turkish warplanes.

"Such violations against our forces [MMC] by the Turkish army impede the war against terrorism and targets the stability in the territories recently liberated from [the Islamic State]," the statement said.   

The YPG-led, US-backed SDF launched the Manbij operation on May 31 and liberated the town completely on Aug. 12 after a two-month battle.

The Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, who were organized under a Turkey-brokered operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield," took control of the Syrian town of Jarabulus on the border with Turkey about three months ago.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

(Additional reporting by Redwan Bezar, Kurdistan24 correspondent in Kobani and Manbij)

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