Last week Turkey cleared ISIS out of Al- Bab.
By all accounts it was a tough fight. Despite non credible claims of some type of deal being made between Turkey and ISIS... I saw that mentioned in alternative circles but the claims had no sourcing
Dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed supporting Syrian rebels in the fight for Al Bab as the extremists put up fierce resistance, including the use of suicide bombers.The move had two goals- Clear out ISIS from the border and prevent the joining of the PKK cantons in northern Syria
“The objective of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria is to prevent the joining of the Kurdish cantons of Afrin and Kobani,” said Balanche.Afterwards information from Turkey indicated they were moving on Manbij:
There had been no indication from Erdogan that the Turkish forces inside Syria want to rest on their laurels with the taking of Al Bab.
“The US does not want Turkey to march on Manbij,” said Stein.
No they don't. The US does not want Turkey to march on Manbij.
Manbij is a problem, from way back, for Turkey. It's also a source of acrimony between Turkey and the US. Along with the coup
The US had made a promise to Turkey that their PKK/YPG terrorists would clear out once they rid the place of ISIS.. But the US had their fingers crossed behind their back and were speaking with forked tongues... because they were NEVER going to ask/make the PKK/YPG terrorists to leave, since, they did not want them to leave - Remaking the region, folks!
Been talkin’ this talk for years now. The US made the promise never intending to keep it because they were plotting the coup and didn't plan on it failing
The Manbij broken promise has been covered here many times, if you are unaware please read:
1-August 16/16 Turkey: US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More
Çavusoglu said: "The U.S. and the President Barack Obama personally promised that PYD members in the SDF would be withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River. Now the U.S. must keep its promise, and we expect them to. We are maintaining our communications regarding this matter."
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu reminded U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that he had personally made a promise to withdraw the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates once the Manbij operation finished.
He said he and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag will pay an official visit to the U.S. to convey a new document including evidence of Gülen's involvement in the recent coup attempt.2-August 25/16:Turkey's Move On Syria- Why now? Broken Promises, Coup Fall out, US Elections & Chemical Weapons Meme, Again!
3-November 6/16: Whose Timeline Will Win In Raqqa....
Raqqa Revisit- Turkey's Syria Border Wall More then Half Complete
If the latest news out of Manbij is any reliable indicator the NATO alliance is not sacrosanct and is as fractured as I’d suspected for some time now- I will keep an eye on the situation and update when I can.Let’s see how sacrosanct the NATO alliance really is?
Two reports from this morning (afternoon in Syria and Turkey)
Sputnik: US Sets Up Military Base in Syrian Manbij to 'Defend It From Turkish Attack'
It's an unnamed source- usually I stay away from this, but, the reporting fits with what I know and have written about. It makes sense in the big picture.
"The US is "taking all necessary measures" to defend the Syrian city of Manbij in the Aleppo Governorate, 30 kilometers west of the Euphrates, which is currently under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), from an attack by the Turkish Armed Forces and fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the SDF representative told Sputnik Turkiye.
In particular, he said, US servicemen have set up a military base in the city and are sending an additional contingent there. They are also deploying heavy weaponry and armored vehicles to the area.
The SDF representative further noted that US servicemen will be holding talks with representatives from Turkey and added that the US intends to increase its contingent in Manbij, sending heavy weaponry and tanks there in order to shore up the city's defenses.
Just two days after their meeting with Votel, the US set up a military base in the city to be able to defend it from an attack by Turkish armed forces. The US flag was flown above the base"
The top US military commander for the Middle East made a secret trip to northern Syria on Friday to meet a US-backed alliance fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, the group's spokesman said.
In an online statement, SDF spokesman Talal Sello said Votel "visited areas under our (PKK/YPG) control today (Friday) and met with several SDF commanders".
"The results were positive. We discussed the developments in the Euphrates Rage campaign and shared military matters."
Sputnik article continued...He described the meeting as "confirmation of US support for our forces".
Flying the flag, he said, is a message, a warning to Turkey that the city is under the defense of the US.-Is it?
-Or are the Kurdish forces employing some type of psychological operation?
-Or is it in fact true and we're looking at preparations for safe zones in Syria?
The US servicemen will also take part in round-the-clock surveillance and patrols in the west and the north of the city to be able to prevent any possible attack.There are reports of clashes between Turkish backed rebels & PKK/YPG near Manbij today:
In addition, he said, armored vehicles under the US flag have been deployed in the north of the city. US servicemen have been also deployed to its western areas. On Tuesday they sent more tanks and armored vehicles to Manbij and promised that the city will also be under the defense of the US-led coalition forces.
Is Turkey testing the waters?
Or are the PKK/YPG completely fabricating the attack?
Anything is possible at this time
ANF- kurdish source?
Making the claims of ISIS being involved highly suspicious and very convenient for spin purposes...
Turkish army and gang groups acting under their command have attacked the villages of Gorhîko, Holash and Xalîde, 29 km southwest of Manbij Wednesday afternoon. Manbij Military Council fighters gave an immediate response to the aggression, resulting in clashes which are ongoing.
Simultaneously with this attack, ISIS gangs launched an aggression on the villages of Mesterîhe and Cedîde 20 km southwest of Manbij. Clashes that erupted upon the retaliation of Manbij Military Council fighters are ongoing.
Reports from the ground suggest that many ISIS members were killed during the fighting and bodies of 5 were seized by Manbij Military Council fighters.Why would the Kurds seize the dead bodies of ISIS fighters?? Doesn't make sense. Unless they did it so the deceased could not be identified by Turkey's men?
Morning Star online
TURKISH proxy forces clashed with Kurdish militia near Manbij in Syria yesterday after Ankara confirmed the northern town in Aleppo province was its next target.
Additional breaking news:
The Turkish-backed forces were reported to be making quick progress through villages to the west of Manbij.
BREAKING: Turkish backed forces reach outskirts of Arima (west of #Manbij) after taking Tal Turin and Al-Qarah from SDF - @QalaatAlMudiq pic.twitter.com/afjfymFJwE— Conflict News (@Conflicts) March 1, 2017
Tough to figure out what is actually occurring- I'll update when possible. Meanwhile if anyone notices any relevant info please leave it in the comment section? Thanks!
UPDATING: Approx 5:00 pm EST
Abdullah Ağar, an anti-terrorism expert and former Turkish special forces operative..
"The fact that the US keeps sending troops, heavy weapons and armored vehicles to Manbij and establishes military bases in the region clearly indicates that there’s a serious crisis in US-Turkish relations. The US actions aimed at strengthening the YPG positions leave Ankara little room for doubt. Turkey is well aware that sooner or later it will have to enter a direct confrontation with the YPG because it (YPG) poses a mid- to long-term threat to the future, security and the unitary structure of the Turkish state"
The US is very conciliatory- Russia bombed SDF/PKK/YPG thinking they were ISIS and the US is saying - it's on them!
Operation Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend
"Yesterday we had some Russian aircraft and regime aircraft bomb some villages that, I believe, they thought were held by ISIS [Daesh], yet they were actually — on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces," he said.So Russia bombed ISIS but it was really the Kurds- So KurdIShIS then?
The US called and the bombing stopped.
US forces were about four or five kilometers (2.5-3 miles) away when they observed the incident and contacted their Russian counterparts.
"We used that mechanism, and it worked," Townsend said.
However, there were some casualties among the Syrian Arab Coalition, the commander added.
The airstrikes took place in a village near al-Bab, 9-12 miles from Manbij where Syrian Arab Coalition fighters were on the ground.3-Russia and Syria denied bombing "coalition partners" yesterday. But admit being contacted in as a cautionary measure
The Russian military in Syria had been contacted by their American counterparts, who "expressed concern" that Russian and Syrian aircraft could "carry out an unintended strike" at positions of Washington-backed fighters during an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian ministry said.So the US has now provided Russia/Syria with the coordinates - but the strikes being reported occurred yesterday
"To avoid any incidents, the US representative has provided (present tense) exact coordinates of the US-backed opposition forces in the region to a Russian officer," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the information was "taken into account" by the Russian military.
My question is since when is the US so understanding about Russian or Syrian airstrikes? Townsend acknowledges that Russia and Syria may have thought the Kurds were ISIS. Russia and Syria deny bombing "coalition partners" (easy enough when you think you're bombing ISIS)
Past 24 hours: