The Military Council for Manbij City which is allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces announced on Thursday its intention to surrender villages which it controls to Bashar al-Assad regime forces, in a new indication of the rapprochement and intersection of interests between the Kurdish-led SDF and the Assad regime, while Ankara vowed to strike the Kurds in Manbij.
The council said in a statement seen by Alsouria Net that under an agreement with Russia it would deliver the areas to the regime to confront “the Turkish ambitions to occupy more Syrian territory,” as he put it.
“We are committed to keeping our vow and doing everything possible to protect the interests and security of our people and families in Manbij," the statement said adding that the council had made an agreement with Russia to hand over the villages on the front line with the Turkish-backed army near al-Bab in the western part of the city to Syrian regime forces.
Syrian regime border guards "will defend the line dividing the Manbij military council forces and the areas under the control of Turkey and the Euphrates Shield.”
In a related context, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cevusoglu, denied the truth of reports that the US-backed Manbij Military Council had surrendered areas to the regime in Manbij, warning that Ankara would bomb Kurdish militias in Manbij if they remained there.
Seven military factions in April 2016 announced their formation of the Manbij Military Council, including: Shams al-Shimal Brigades, Thuwar Menbij Brigades, Alwiyat al-Furat group, Jund al-Harmein Brigade, Shuhada al-Furat Brigades, Liwa al-Qosi, and the Menbij Turkmen Brigade.
After the Euphrates Shield forces captured al-Bab and expelled Islamic State fighters on February 23, the mutual interests of the Assad regime and the SDF pushed them to work together to impede the advance of Euphrates Shield in northern Syria.
Turkey is demanding the exit of Kurdish forces from Manbij city and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday February 28 that the next target after al-Bab would be Manbij.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.