YPG: Syrian government forces to defend Manbij from Turkey

by Meghan Bodette    

 

YPG General Command has invited Syrian government forces into areas from which they have withdrawn in order to defend northeast Syria from a potential Turkish military operation, according to a statement published early Friday morning. 

The statement announced that YPG forces would be "focusing on the fight against ISIS on all the fronts in the east of the Euphrates."

"We invite the Syrian government forces which are obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders, to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion," the YPG said. 

According to YPG sources, the Syrian government has deployed troops to reinforce areas north and west of Manbij, while Syrian state sources report that their forces have have already entered the city. 

The Syrian Democratic Council participated in talks with the Syrian government during July and August of this year regarding the status of the areas they administer— nearly 30% of Syrian territory. No agreement was reached at the time, and talks ended early this fall. U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement of the withdrawal of American troops, and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's threats against Manbij and other SDF-held areas east of the Euphrates, likely encouraged negotiations to resume. 

A Syrian Democratic Council delegation has also gone to Moscow for negotiations, and Arabic-language media has reported that officials from Egypt are willing to mediate between the Syrian Democratic Council and the Syrian government. 

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