Saturday, December 29, 2018

Confusion Surrounds Manbij

Yesterday's hasty report ended on this note:

Syrian regime, Turkey, maneuver to take key Syrian city ....

All of Manbij has not been taken. I'm not even certain that it has been entered, properly. Though it's very clear SAA is outside of Manbij, as they have been for at least two years now. French forces are still present. Undoubtedly Americans are as well. Which suggests to us the Usrael Kurds are still in place. This is not over yet. And might take a turn for the worse, though I hope that is not the case.
It also seems to me there are plenty of wild claims being made.. 
Yes, I'm aware of the news from SANA... however that could be for domestic consumption. It's just too up in the air to tell at this point. Keep in mind that this could turn bad very quickly.
  I also have to question the narrative presented by some that SAA and the Usrael backed Kurds are sudden allies and working together? This is strange. Very strange, really. Especially when juxtaposed  with the narrative regarding Turkey.
  Usreal backed Kurds stole 1/3 of Syria. They have prime agricultural land. Most of the water. And most of the oil. They have had a hand in untold death/destruction/displacement in Syria and yet.... they are presented positively.  The USrael backed Kurds have allowed for an entire military infrastructure to be installed/constructed/fortified etc., in Syria by the US.
 Turkey has played a role in the destabilization, but, not equal to that of the Usrael backed Kurds. .....

So what's with the perception managing narrative?

Confusion Surrounds Manbij

Mixed reports are coming from the city of Manbij in northern Syria, which has been a target for both Turkey and the Syrian regime for months now.
The Syrian Army Says It Has Entered the City of Manbij?
The Syrian regime’s army says it has entered the city of Manbij, according to state media, after the country’s main Kurdish armed group invited government forces to take control of the northern area and protect it from a threatened Turkish offensive.
On Friday, the State-run SANA news agency said that stemming from the complete commitment of the Syrian Army in assuming its responsibilities to impose sovereignty over each inch of the Syrian territory and in response to the calls of locals in Manbij city, the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces announced the entry of the Syrian Arab Army to Manbij city and the hoisting of the Syrian Arab flag.
However, an Al Jazeera reporter from Gaziantep on the Turkish border, said residents of Manbij, which lies 30km south of the Turkish border, dispute the Syrian army’s claim.
“Manbij residents who we spoken to have said that they have not seen any sign of Syrian forces in their city but we know that Syrian government troops have already been on the outskirts of the city, where they were part of the International Coalition fighting the Islamic State (ISIS),” he said.
I mentioned the fact that SAA has been stationed outside of Manbij for two years now..
Recently at Syper. And again for my readers.. (as soon as it can be found)

BBC March 2017:
On Thursday, the Manbij Military Council said in a statement that defending the town and countering Turkey's "invasion plan" were among its objectives.
It had therefore "agreed with Russia to hand over villages on the frontline with Euphrates Shield... to the border guards of the Syrian state", the statement added.
Atlantic Council

the Manbij Military Council, working through Russia and the Syrian regime, seemingly brokered a deal to allow for Syrian regime and Russian elements to enter towns west of Manbij. 
But even these claims are shaky at best- Therefore the entire narrative of SAA being present outside of Manbij is questionable. Now as then.
In addition, a resident of Manbij who spoke to The Associated Press from the town on condition of anonymity said there was no sign of government troops.
The Turkish-Backed “National Army” Refutes the Government’s Story
Major Yousef Hammoud, the military spokesman for the National Army has denied the entry of the regime’s forces into the city of Manbij, accusing the regime of lying.
What happened, he said in a statement to, was that the regime had brought military reinforcements the area of al-Taeh, which is already under regime control, and about 16 km away from Manbij.  Inside the city, the Syrian regime flag was raised by some PKK members on one official building, Hammoud explained.
SDF Deny Reports About Their Support for the Entry of the Syrian Army to Manbij
The spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Cihan Ahmed, denied media reports attributed to them welcoming the entry of the Syrian army to Manbij.
Media reports had said earlier that the SDF support the entry of the Syrian regime’s army to Manbij in order to maintain Syria, and attributed this position to the SDF spokesperson Cihan Ahmed.
“We support the entry of the Syrian army into Manbij, in order to preserve Syria,” Ahmed was quoted as saying.
Ahmad, however, denied unequivocally in a statement to Russia Today these media reports and said that the reports are “totally untrue”.
The Turkish Army and Its Syrian Opposition Allies Are Moving Towards the City
On Friday, the main Turkish-backed Syrian rebel force said that its convoys, along with Turkish forces, were moving towards the frontlines with the Syrian town of Manbij, in “full readiness… to start military operations to liberate the town,” according to The Daily Star.
“In the current situation, we are still supporting the integrity of Syrian soil. These areas belong to Syria. Once the terrorist organizations leave the area, we will have nothing left to do there,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
“It’s not just about Manbij, we are aiming to wipe out all terrorist organizations in the region. Our main goal is that the YPG learns the necessary lesson here,” Erdogan said.



  1. Is it possible both the YPG /SDF and the SAA are bluffing ? If the Kurds still refuse to hand over their weapons, disband their militias, and fully cede control of captured territories back to Syria, and Syria is fully aware of this then maybe a "temporary " compromise has been reached, to try to prevent Turkey from moving into Syrian territory. Basically, Syria pretends to have entered Manbij, while the Kurds pretend to have left, hoisting a few Syrian flags in the process.

  2. It's possible every one of those concerned is bluffing.

    The fact is.. going by today's reports Manbij is still firmly in the hands of the Usrael Kurds.

  3. Here is a report that puts more light on the subject...given the obscurity. Even though I question many reports on all platforms, this one may make some clarity?

    ["...In late 2017, Trump told his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that the U.S. will not supply any more weapons to Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. However, the promise is yet to be fulfilled.

    These attempts to keep advanced weapons in the hands of Kurdish forces will likely lead to a new fallout between the U.S. and Turkey that’s planning to launch a large-scale military operation in northeastern Syria."]


      ***IMHO...Most of those weapons were shared and dispersed into IS strongholds which have since been discovered by the SAA. As you mentioned Penny...this is not over, even though the mixed reports (even by RT) saying SAA has entered Manbij, or is coming to Manbij? The Kurds (Israel 2.0)/and the US aren't going to give it up so quickly.

      No pullout of Iraq, it can be base ‘to do something in Syria’ – Trump on first visit to troops
      Published time: 26 Dec, 2018 19:42
      Edited time: 27 Dec, 2018 09:24

      [..."In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria."]

    2. I don't believe for a moment that Usrael and the proxies are going to give up and walk away...

      And it's going to take Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria working together to to 'encourage' them to leave..
      Then there is the possibility of scary amounts of warfare (scarier then it's already been)


    ["...On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan said Turkey will have no reason to be in Manbij if the "zone is purged of terrorist organizations." Erodgan also said during the same press conference that reports of Syrian troops in Manjib were unconfirmed by Turkey’s intelligence. “There is nothing certain,” he said.

    Russian and Turkish authorities will discuss and evaluate the situation in Syria during a meeting in Moscow, scheduled for Saturday..."]


    2. Hey wallflower- It doesn't appear to me anything certain has occurred. Despite the ziomedia claiming otherwise

      "Syrian regime forces are trying to run a psychological operation in Manbij by saying they entered the town and took control of it, but nothing is certain yet according to Turkish intelligence and Russian officials, President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan said Friday."

      Recall in my post from yesterday I'd stated

      "Yes, I'm aware of the news from SANA... however that could be for domestic consumption."

      It's shocking to me that people have lost all grasp that the first casualty of war is always truth. Always

      Or to Winston Churchill:

      "In wartime truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies."

      what the hell do people think is being stated in those two quotes..


    MOSCOW, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Russian and Turkish military will continue to coordinate their steps to eradicate terrorism in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

    He made the remarks at a press conference here following talks attended by his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of both countries.