US Confirms Forces ‘Out of Manbij,’ Syrian Troops Move In

Erdogan: Kurds should not remain in Manbij

The US-led coalition has issued a statement confirming that all US and coalition troops are out of the Syrian city of Manbij, saying that as part of the “deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria, we are out of Manbij.

Manbij is far from empty, however, with Syrian Army forces quickly advancing into the city, taking the strategically valuable formerly ISIS-held city, which the Kurds agreed to cede to them over the weekend to defend from invading Turkish forces.

Where this leaves the Turkish invasion is not entirely clear, as President Erdogan says Turkey is not strictly opposed to Syrian troops entering Manbij, but demands that Kurdish “militants” all be forced to leave.

With Erdogan establishing the Kurdish presence as a standard on Manbij, Turkish-backed rebels are eagerly trying to turn that into a talking point, claiming that it wasn’t the Syrian Army, but Kurdish “militants” who had entered Manbij on Tuesday.

Turkey’s government seems to be supporting that narrative too, accusing Kurdish fighters of launching an attack out of Manbij earlier Tuesday which killed one Turkish soldier and wounded eight others. They said 15 Kurds were “neutralized” in retaliation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.