Syria: Free Syrian Army (FSA) militia prepares offensive to seize Manbij from Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
Turkey-led militias in northern Aleppo province have asserted a clear intention to launch an offensive to capture the large town of Manbij, currently held by US-backed forces.
Yesterday, the Turkish-backed factions of the Free Syrian Army in northern Aleppo dispersed leaflets saying that Syrian rebels will seize the town of Manbij from US-backed forces “no matter what the cost is.”
Manbij was captured from ISIS by the Syrian Democratic Forces in June 2016 after a two month battle. Following the Turkish military intervention in northern Syria, Turkey demanded that all Kurdish militias in the Manbij region withdraw east of the Euphrates.
Officially, Manbij and the area around it is void of Kurdish fighters and only US-backed Arab factions of the Syrian Democratic Forces are present there (although there is little evidence to decisively prove this).