Syrian Troops Enter Northeast Syria to Try to Resist Turkish Invasion

US airstrikes try to keep Syrian forces from advancing into area

Following a weekend deal with the Kurdish YPG to assume defensive responsibility for the cities of Manbij and Kobane, the Syrian Army has rushed northward into the area, setting up defensive positions for a pending Turkish invasion.

The ability of the Syrian government to get into the area was hindered by US military forces who are nominally withdrawing from the area. Reports are that the US launched multiple airstrikes against pro-government forces in the area.

Perhaps the most problematic aspect of the US meddling in Syria’s defense of Syria is that US ground troops remain in control of Qarakozaq bridge, which is on the highway between Manbij and Kobane. This means Syrian forces cannot directly go back and forth between the two cities they’ve agreed to defend.

That may just be temporary, as US forces aren’t meant to be sticking around long in that area, but that they’re openly stalling Syrian deployments is likely to further anger the Kurds, and give the impression that the US is not only ‘getting out of the way’ for Turkey’s conquest of the area, but openly undermining any attempt to resist the Turks.

So far, Turkey’s fighting in Syria is further east, where they are contesting border towns being defended by the Kurdish SDF. These towns are Arab majority, and Turkey-backed rebels are eager to seize them as part of establishing a new rebel stronghold in Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.