The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are to hand over a massive section of their territory west of Manbij to the Syrian Arab Army in order to create a buffer zone against the Turkish Army and Turkey-led forces in northern Syria. The map above is an initial estimate of the area which will be handed over to pro-government forces and not official.

In recent days the Euphrates Shield operations room (a coalition of Turkey-led armed Islamist groups, backed by the Turkish Armed Forces) has launched an offensive against the the SDF in order to capture the strategic crossroads city of Manbij.

The ferocity of the new Euphrates Shield offensive against the SDF has incited the Manbij Military Council (MMC) to consider a local military cooperation agreement with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) which includes pro-government access to SDF territories in northern Syria.

Advertisement

The MMC has released the following statement on this decision:

“To reach these objectives [the defense of Manbij] we have transferred, after reaching a new alliance with Russia, the defence of the line to the west of Manbij – where the villages between us and the gang groups [FSA, Ahrar al-Sham] affiliated to the Turkish army are – to Syrian state forces.”

The area being handed over to the Syrian Arab Army will serve just as much as a political buffer zone as a military one. The true nature of the Erdogan regime’s ambitions in Syria will soon be revealed to the world based on whether it chooses to attack government-held areas or not. By choosing to commit to an offensive against pro-government forces, the Erdogan regime will demonstrate that it pursues an imperialist agenda in Syria in direct violation of the territorial sovereignty of that country and against the wishes of its legitimate government.

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
ALSO READ  The battle of al-Qusayr, 2013 - The underestimated victory: 40-minute OZ Analysis interview with Izat Charkatli

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

If your comment is held for moderation, please just be patient, it will be published unless it falls into one of the two categories as mentioned above.

18 COMMENTS

      • Daeshbag, surely NATO does participate in illegal operations.

        ALL the NATO forces, air land and sea that have entered Syria and trained armed bands,bombed Syrian territory etc, are not doing so with a UN mandate or an invitation from the elected Syrian government. They are therefore in Syria ILLEGALLY.

        Add to that the arming and funding of UN sanctioned terrorist groups and the NATO countries involved are themselves behaving in a criminal manner.

  1. If this proves true, then it’s the best move so far to consider by SAA and SDF to counter Turkish/US/Saudi plan that was hatching. Hope that YPG will show some indepedence and think pragmatically and don’t give it this time to the pressure of the US who are about to ask them to surrender Manbij to Euphrates Shield (according to Turkish/US/Saudi plan).

    • I agree. The Turks and the Kurds are both learning a valuable lesson . The US is unsure who to fuck first, the Turks or the Kurds, but as night follows day, any relationship they have with the US will end this way.

  2. Hope a political solution is at hand. Turkey is not an enemy, but a guarantor of the cease fire, which is still holding. US had once guaranteed to Turkey that Kurds would not remain in Manbij, as it is not a Kurdish city — and where with US complicity, many Arabs were ethnically cleansed. So, it is up to Kurds. Really. They need to make a decision. If Kurds make a public statement that they will not seek US supported, autonomous Kurdish entity, but will only work with Damascus to achieve autonomy under a new Syrian constitution, problem will not exist. For as long as Kurds aspire to have a US made autonomy, under US flag and military base — there will be no trust on anybody’s side. This turning over the territory is so transparently tactical. The only thing Kurds want is to get Damascus protect them from Turkey, while at the same time, aspiring to follow through on their autonomy, without Damascus having a say in it. Bottom line, Turkey has been very clear. It respects Syrian territorial integrity, and will not stay in Syria after it has been liberated from terrorist groups, and after a period needed for maintaining peace until Syria’s army can take over the control of the territory. Kurds need to likewise say what their intentions are. Will they work with US to liberate Raqqa, with the intention of keeping the control of the region for their nascent state? Will they expect US forces to stay there, and protect their State, expanded at the expense of Arab population? So far, there was no encouraging message from Kurds. They are playing games with Damascus, using Russia to protect them and intercede with Turkey, and using US to expand their territory at the expense of Arabs.

    So, a bit more HONESTY, and everyone will be much better off. Turkey understandably does not want an independent Kurdish state, protected by US on its border, next to Kurdish region in Turkey. It is all starting to smell too much like US Kosovo. Any such state would remain a constant, and never ending source of instability in the region, witness now what Kosovo Albanians are doing to split up neighboring Macedonia. Once secessionism with the power of arms is allowed to take place, it just perpetuates its violence on the region. Only peaceful process and political solutions must be sought. But in the peace time, many Kurdish areas did nothing to advance their goals — hope this changes.

    However, all players in the Middle East must encourage a solution that is crafted WITHIN the region, and by the regional actors — and not being dictated by old European colonial busybodies. Hope that continues.