ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Mustafa Bali, the Director of Media Center of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Friday said the US started patrols on the Syrian-Turkish border to prevent further attacks.
“The US will start patrolling on the border between northern Syria and Turkey today to ease tensions and stop Turkey from launching attacks,” he said in a public statement.
Kurdistan 24 reporter Redwan Bezar in Kobani confirmed US patrols this morning arrived in Kobani.
“[The US will place] patrols along the border between Kobani and Turkey, to prevent Turkish aggression,” he reported.
The US-led coalition, so far, could not confirm the border patrols were to begin.
On Thursday, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Robert Palladino, confirmed they have been in touch with Ankara to de-escalate the situation in Syria.
“We have been in touch with our Turkish counterparts on this,” he stated.
However, Turkish cross-border shelling continued despite Thursday’s start of Turkish-US joint patrols near Manbij.
Asked if the joint patrols would enter Manbij, Army Colonel Sean Ryan, spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), told Kurdistan 24: “They will not enter Manbij city proper.”
Two journalists, Ibrahim al-Ahmad and Gulistan Mihemed, from Syrian-Kurdish news agency Hawar News, were been wounded by the Turkish army’s shelling of the village of Manbatah, near Tal Abyad.
One member of the Kurdish Self-Defense forces was injured in the bombardment.
Since Tuesday, Turkish armed forces have carried out cross-border shelling near Tal Abyad and Kobani. Earlier on Thursday, a 10-year-old child was reportedly killed in a village near Tal Abyad.
According to Diliman Abdulkader, the Director of the Kurdistan Project at the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the joint patrols along Manbij and the border could benefit the Kurdish-led SDF.
“The patrols can allow the US to keep Turkey in line, especially in the areas of recent Turkish bombardments against the SDF,” Abdulkader told Kurdistan 24.
“The US can further pressure Turkey. If the Turks want to be involved in the security of Manbij, they must fully stop the threats against its partners, the SDF, and particularly the Kurds.”
Editing by Nadia Riva