21:23 GMT12 April 2021
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    Anti-Daesh Fight in Syria’s Manbij Likely to Raise Tensions With Turkey

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    Earlier on Wednesday, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the United States, have begun an offensive on Manbij to free the city from terrorists, SDF spokesman Tackir Kobani told Sputnik.

    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.

    Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed because of a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members.

    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.

    Kurds, Syrian crisis, Daesh, Syria, Turkey
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