Middle East News

Syria: Kurdish YPG forces withdraw from Manbij to bases east of Euphrates

The Syrian Kurdish YPG on Thursday confirmed that it had withdrawn from the Manbij area to bases east of the Euphrates river.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG on Thursday confirmed that it had withdrawn from the Manbij area to bases east of the Euphrates river.

The YPG and YPJ are by far the largest contingent within the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces which recently cleared the strategically important city of Manbij of Islamic State forces in a 75-day long battle.

The YPG said it handed its points of control west of the river to Manbij Military Council and Jarablus Military Council, as it had agreed with the US ahead of the Manbij offensive.

It further said that it had begun the handover on August 15, in line with the agreement.

The move comes after a Turkish-led offensive dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield began on Wednesday with Turkish and Syrian rebel forces taking Jarablus and several villages near the Turkish border from IS.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that Kurdish fighters should return east of the Euphrates immediately. This was echoed by US Vice President Joe Biden who said that Kurdish forces must retreat east of the Euphrates or lose US support.

 

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