Russian official says PYD will hand over Manbij in northern Syria to Syrian army
Manbij which has been the center of a serious conflict between Turkey and the USA recently is under control of PYD (pro-Kurdish groups) currently. Turkey demands that pro-Kurdish armed groups (PYD) should draw to the east of Euphrates river – for the security of southern Turkish territory. Howwever it has been observed very clearly that Kurds have not been very willing to do this thanks to the implicit support of the US, in this direction. The tension has been rising for a while and in fact to the point of Turkey threatening to strike the area in case PYD does not draw further east – (Turkey’s foreign minister: ‘If YPG doesn’t withdraw, we’re going to hit them”)
In the meantimeSergei Rudskoy, Russia’s head of main operational unit of chief of staff, announced yesterday (March 3) that Syria’s northern city Manbij, which has been under control of PYD, would be handed over to Syrian army. In a briefing held with the participation of officials from Russian defense ministry, Rudskoy explained that PYD (Democratic Union Party of Syria) has agreed to withdraw from Manbij and surrounding towns as of March 3rd, leaving control in the region to Syrian government and security forces.
While Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made a public statement claiming Turkey was to hit YPG forces if they would not leave Manbij area, defense minister of Turkey Fikri Işık said: “First, DAESH left certain areas to the control of the regime (of Syria). As we can see now, PYD and YPG are also leaving certain places to the control of the regime. This actually proves our argument is right when we say PYD, DAESH, and the regime are acting along the same line, at times. We have seen within the past few days that several forces that appear to be each other’s enemy, actually act together easily.”