BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has recently begun amassing troops in the western countryside of Manbij as the Turkish military and their rebel allies prepare to attack the city from its northern axis.
Following the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) transfer of nearby Al-Arimeh to the Syrian Arab Army, the latter’s high command has made the decision to increase their presence around Manbij.
This move by the Syrian Arab Army appears to be a power play against the Turkish military, who has set their sights on Manbij and its countryside.
According to a military source in Aleppo city, the Syrian Arab Army has not only sent the 1st Armored Division to western Manbij, but also, most of their Republican Guard units that were previously deployed inside the provincial capital.
The source said that the Syrian Democratic Forces is currently negotiating the potential transfer of Manbij to the Syrian Arab Army; however, no agreement has been made as of yet.
The reason for the SDF’s transfer of Manbij to the Syrian Arab Army would be to halt the Turkish military’s expansion in northern Syria.
In the coming days, the Turkish military and their rebel allies are expected to commence their Manbij operation, so the transfer of the city would have to be done as soon as possible in order to thwart this offensive.