WASHINGTON, June 1 (Sputnik) — A Kurdish-led battle to retake the Syrian city of Manbij from the Islamic state could escalate tensions between Turkey and the West over support for the Kurds, the private intelligence firm Soufan Group said in a report on Wednesday.
"Such a battle [in Manbij] could escalate tensions between Turkey and the West over support for Kurdish fighters to the point of seriously delaying or complicating the fight against the Islamic State," the report stated.
The Soufan group said that SDF victory in Manbij could further expand Kurdish influence in northern Syria.
Ankara is likely to object the move of Kurdish fighters closer to the Turkish border, the report continued.
"Turkey strongly opposes any form of Kurdish autonomy on its border,” the Soufan Group stated.
Turkey has designated the PKK, which fights for Kurdish self-determination in the southeast of the country, as a terrorist group.
Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews in Kurdish-populated towns, preventing civilians from fleeing the regions where the military operations are taking place.