ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Sharvan Darwish, spokesperson of the Manbij Military Council (MMC), on Sunday accused the Turkish-backed Euphrates Shield rebels of targeting MMC positions in Manbij and villages near the city, such as al-Harima, Kareidiya, and al-Hamran.
“A woman who was working in an olive field with her family was severely injured. This deliberate acts by these factions, acting under direct Turkish command, violate the terms of the initiative put forward by international coalition forces with the Turkish side to end tensions and conflicts, and establish security and stability in this area,” he said about the Turkish cross-border shelling that happened Sunday morning.
On June 4, Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, met with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, where the two endorsed a “general roadmap” for Manbij that was “conditions-based,” and included the establishment of joint Turkish-US patrols on the demarcation line separating the MMC and the Turkish backed forces. So far, US troops are still in Turkey for training to create these joint patrols.
“We in the MMC, in order to create stability, have worked hard with the international coalition forces to implement this initiative, which is in the interest of our people in Manbij, specifically for the people living near the demarcation line,” Darwish explained.
“The factions operating under the banner of the Turkish army [could damage] any serious and sincere approach [by Washington and Ankara] working for the benefit of the local population,” the official warned.
He accused the Turkish-backed factions and the Turkish army of provoking tensions, which could lead to war and an “end to the stability in Manbij,” suggesting they were “tampering with civilian lives.”
The MMC “confirms to the public that repercussions to these provocations are directly borne by the Turkish military forces, which support and push these factions to carry out these acts,” Darwish argued.
“While we stress that we will take the measures required to deter these successive provocations, we ask the parties concerned to prevent escalation and tension for the Syrian situation to work.”
Darwish also noted that the current tensions were destabilization the security of Manbij, which it had not witnessed “since its liberation from Daesh [Arab acronym for IS].”
Turkish armed forces shelled the People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions east of the Euphrates River, in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), with Turkish state media, Anadolu Agency, claiming the attack was “within the scope of self-defense.”
The Turkish bombardments targeted “the villages of Zormikhar, Charikhli, Siftek, and Ashme, all of them located west of [Kobani], with tank, mortar, and howitzer fire,” the YPG said in a statement.
In the shelling, Mohammed Kobani, a conscript was killed in the village of Zor Maghar, and two others were injured.
The Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Sunday accused Western countries of remaining silent toward Turkish provocations and cross-border bombings following a quartet meeting between Turkey, Russia, Germany, and France on the Syrian crisis, in Istanbul.
“We emphasize that, without this position, Erdogan would have not dared to bomb northern Syria,” the PYD alleged.
“Therefore, we call on everyone not to submit to the blackmail and threat of Turkey, and to do their duty to create a solution to the Syrian crisis, without excluding the representatives of the real people of Syria,” the PYD concluded.
Editing by Nadia Riva