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Kurdish Forces Hand over More Villages to Syrian Army in Northern Aleppo

16 April 2017 12:23

 

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have handed over six more villages to the Syrian Army troops in Northern Aleppo under the monitoring of the Russian forces, local sources said on Saturday.

The SDF gave control of the villages of Kabashin, Borj Heidar and Fafrin Southeast of the town of Afrin and the villages of Zaof al-Kabir, Borj Qas and Bashmereh in the Nubl region to the Syrian army.

An informed source said that Pentagon has demanded Kurdish forces to hand over the town of Tal Rifat and several nearby villages to Liwa al-Mo’atasem.

The source who requested anonymity said that Liwa al-Mo’atasem terrorist group along with some of the commanders of the Free Syrian Army have accepted to negotiate with SDF under the US mediation.

In early March that several villages controlled by the Kurdish forces in Northeastern Aleppo were handed over to the Syrian Army troops following a Russian-brokered agreement with Damascus.

The Arabic language desk of Sputnik quoted a source in March as saying that the Manbij Military Council delivered control of six villages to the Syrian army troops.

Sputnik added that the villages were in contact line with forces of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield Operation in Manbij.

The news agency said that the six villages had been seized back from the ISIL during the Al-Bab liberation operation.

The villages were located some 22km to West of Manbij.

Sputnik went on to say that the US army deployed its forces and equipment in Manbij city, raising its flag in the city.

The military council of Manbij announced in a statement that the Kurdish forces would surrender the villages bordering the areas occupied by the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield Operation militants to the Syrian army.

Then, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that his government called on the US to evacuate the Kurds from Manbij in Aleppo province immediately, rejecting the agreement between the Kurds and the Damascus government.

Cavusoglu referred to the Euphrates Shield Operation in Northern Syria by the Turkey-backed militants, and told reporters that the Turkish forces did not move towards Manbij but they would start operations in the region soon.

Noting that the Turkish military men were ready to attack the Kurds in Manbij, he said that Ankara did not want Washington to continue support for the Kurds and it had several times warned the US that the Turkish forces would attack the Kurds soon.

Cavusoglu also said that Ankara and Moscow agreed to prevent clashes between the Syrian government forces and the Turkey-backed opposition (the Free Syrian Army militants), claiming that both of them pursue the same goal of annihilating the ISIL.

Elsewhere, he stood up to an agreement between the SDF and Russia to surrender the villages controlled by the Kurds in Manbij to the Syrian government.

His remarks came as the military council of Manbij announced in a statement that the Kurdish forces would surrender the villages bordering the areas occupied by the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield Operation militants to the Syrian army.

The statement said that based on an agreement with the Russian side, the control of these villages would be given to the Syrian government’s border guards.

It added that the measure would be taken to maintain the security of civilians residing in Manbij and the surrounding areas as well as regions bordering al-Bab in the Western side of Manbij, and take on the greed of Turkey to occupy the Syrian territories.

The statement was issued after sources in Tal Rifat Town’s Military Council affiliated to the Turkey-backed FSA militant group disclosed that the council forces would no more partner in the Euphrates Shield Operations against ISIL in Northeastern Aleppo as they are preparing to shift war to their Kurdish rivals within the SDF.

The Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield Operations is fought by various units of the SDF and backed up by the Turkish army. The SDF is comprised of a Kurdish majority and a minority of Arab fighters mostly from different units of FSA and defected members of Ahrar al-Sham and Al-Nusra that are all called as moderate militants by the US, Turkey and their allies.

The Kurdish units of the SDF have long been complaining that they are fighting on the frontline and, hence, sustain most casualties, and whenever they earn a victory, “the Turkish army sends them to other battle scenes and delivers control over conquered lands to the Arab FSA.

In mid-November 2016, Spokesman for the Manbij Military Council Sherfan Dervish voiced his forces’ readiness to fight against the ISIL terrorists and Turkish army in Aleppo province in Northern Syria.

“The Manbij military council is ready to repel any possible attack by the ISIL and Turkey,” Dervish told FNA at the time.

He noted that the SDF’s mission in Manbij ended as per an agreement signed by the two sides, adding that the SDF forces returned to their previous positions.

“The armed groups present in Manbij now are all under the auspices of the Manbij military council because the council can thwart any possible attack by the ISIL and Turkey and combat aggressors to maintain stability and security in the city,” Dervish added.

In early August, the SDF pushed ISIL back from the entire neighborhoods of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo after over 70 days of non-stop bloody clashes with the terrorists.

Also in August, the Military Council of Manbij in Aleppo province announced that over 4,000 terrorists had been killed in tough battle with the SDF since the beginning of Manbij liberation operations.

“A sum of 4,180 terrorists have been killed in the battle over Manbij and the dead bodies of 1,724 of them are with the Kurdish forces,” the military council said.

The council said that 112 ISIL terrorists were in custody of the Kurdish forces and 144 different kinds of military vehicles had also been destroyed in Manbij battle.

In late August, a Turkish-backed terrorist ringleader said that his militants intended to head towards Manbij to take the city from the Kurdish forces who could drive out the ISIL in early August.

Colonel Ahmed Osman, the commander of Sultan Murad terrorist group, told the Arabic service of Reuters that the Turkey-backed forces were “certainly heading towards Manbij” since the SDF had fortified their positions instead of evacuating the strategic city.

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