Allied militia agrees to hand villages to Syrian government

Posted March 03, 2017

The deal aims to allow the Syrian military to ring the Kurdish-held city, which would prevent Turkey from directly invading Manbij, something they've long threatened to do.

The "very closely tracking that Russian movement", he said, noting that the convoy, which predominantly carried aid, was accompanied by "heavy equipment" for force protection in the highly contested area. On March 1, Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels seized two villages near al-Bab, which they captured from ISIL last week, from USA -supported SDF rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated. With the help of American advisers and US -led.

The Manbij Military Council is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of US-allied militias dominated by the YPG.

The SDF is led by the YPG, a group the US has consistently relied on as its principal partner in the anti-Daesh fight in northern Syria. At this point, all the easily claimable ISIS cities are gone, and Turkey's forces are increasingly bumping up against the forces of the Syrian government. "We know the USA hasn't picked the YPG as ally", he said. Rudskoy's statement came hours after Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said Turkey expected PKK and PYD elements in northern Syria to withdraw to the east bank of the Euphrates river, which he described as a "red line" for Turkey.

The YPG helped capture Manbij from Islamic State previous year in a US -backed campaign fought under the SDF banner.

Turkey sees no risk of a "face-off" with American troops in Manbij, he said.