The Syrian military has not entered Manbij, the United States navy has mentioned, after Syrian forces claimed that they had gone into the important thing northern metropolis and raised the nationwide flag.
“Regardless of incorrect details about modifications to the navy forces in Manbij metropolis, (the US-led coalition) has seen no indication of those claims being true,” US Central Command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Earl Brown mentioned on Friday.
Manbij is a strategic metropolis near the Turkish border the place Kurdish forces have been deployed since 2016.
US and French particular operations troops are additionally stationed there, helping the Kurds, however the People can be withdrawing below a shock pull-out introduced by President Donald Trump final week.
Brown referred to as on all events to respect the “integrity of Manbij and the security of its residents”.
“Our mission has not modified. We’ll proceed to assist our coalition companions, whereas additionally conducting a deliberate and managed withdrawal of forces, whereas taking all measures attainable to make sure our troops’ security and that of our companions on the bottom,” he advised AFP information company.
‘No signal of Syrian forces’
The Syrian authorities introduced earlier on Friday that it has entered the city of Manbij and raised the nationwide flag there.
It additionally pledged to ensure “full safety for all Syrian residents and others current within the space”, in accordance with Syrian state-run information company SANA.
Nonetheless, Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from Gaziantep on the Turkish border, mentioned residents of Manbij, which lies 30km south of the Turkish border, dispute the Syrian military’s declare.
“Manbij residents who we spoke to have mentioned that they haven’t seen any signal of Syrian forces of their metropolis however what we all know is that Syrian authorities troops have already been on the outskirts of town, the place they had been a part of a world coalition that’s preventing remnants of ISIL,” he mentioned.
Nura al-Hamed, deputy head of the Manbij native authority, advised AFP that the regime deployment was the results of Russian-sponsored negotiations.
“The regime forces is not going to enter town of Manbij itself however will deploy on the demarcation line” with Turkish-backed Syrian teams, she mentioned.
Shift in alliance
The Syrian military’s deployment creates a authorities buffer arching throughout northern Syria that totally separates the Turkish military and its proxies from the Kurds.
Turkey reacted to the deployment by warning “all sides to steer clear of provocative actions” whereas a big convoy of its Syrian auxiliaries had been seen transferring nearer to the western fringe of Manbij.
The Kurds have welcomed a Syrian authorities advance in Manbij province, a practical shift in alliances that can sprint their aspirations for autonomy however may assist them lower their losses.
The Individuals’s Safety Items (YPG) have been the spine of an alliance that has spearheaded the US-backed combat towards the Islamic State group in Syria.
“We invite the Syrian authorities forces… to claim management over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, notably in Manbij, and to guard these areas towards a Turkish invasion,” the YPG mentioned in a press release.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent mentioned the YPG’s attraction was a “tactic by its fighters to keep away from confrontation with the Turkish forces who they, after all, know they’re no match for”.
Following the conflicting reviews concerning Manbij on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan mentioned Turkey could have no cause to be in Manbij as soon as “terrorist organisations” go away.
Al Jazeera and information companies