Kurds return to their bases after liberating Manbij, ready to support Jarabulus council

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Kurdish fighters of the YPG and YPJ bidding farewell to fellow fighters who were killed during anti-ISIS clashes in Hasakah. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

ALEPPO – Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) said on Thursday that they returned to their bases on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in northern Syria subsequent to liberating territory from ISIS. The YPG’s move comes in response to calls by senior US officials who asked the Kurds to withdraw from areas west of the Euphrates or lose US support.

“Our forces which are fighting alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and under their command have completed their tasks successfully,” the YPG said. “Our forces gave support at the request of the Manbij military council to liberate the city of Manbij and its countryside from ISIS terrorists.” 

“We announce in the general command of the YPG that our units have completed their tasks successfully in the campaign to liberate Manbij and returned to their bases after handing their positions over to the leadership of the Manbij military council and the civilian council on 15 August,” the YPG said. 

The Kurdish leadership stressed that they are ready to support the Manbij council in case of any attacks by militants in the future. 

The YPG also said that they handed over the positions they have liberated in the frontline with Jarabulus near al- Sajur river to the Jarabulus Military Council. “We previously confirmed that we are ready to support the council [of Jarabulus] if they need any assistance.”

The Jarabulus Miltiary Council (JMC) is increasingly coming in conflict with Turkish-backed rebels.

“We are thanking YPG for their support during the liberation of villages from ISIS in Jarabulus,” the council said in a press statement while announcing they will not accept Turkish-backed groups to take over Jarabulus. “We emphasize once again we will not accept that ISIS being replaced by groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda.” 

“Our fight isn’t against local groups, but ISIS. We will use our right of self-defence against any attacks and threats,” the council said about the threat of Turkish-backed groups.

It also denied earlier media reports that clashes took place between Turkish-backed rebels and the council last Wednesday, suggesting that only warning shots were fired.

According to local media sources, Turkish jets on Monday hit the Armarne village, which is held by the Jarabulus Council, while Turkish media said that Turkish artillery fired on Kurdish positions in the village.

Reporting by:  Jan Mohammed and Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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