04:50 GMT +322 August 2017
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    Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) patrol a street in the northern Syrian town of Manbij (File)

    'Chaos in the Region': Fighting in Syria's Manbij Persists Amid FSA Attacks

    © AFP 2017/ DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    Armed clashes between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Democratic Forces show no signs of abating in and near the northern Syrian city of Manbij, Hidar Menbic, commander of the Manbij Military Council, told Sputnik Turkey.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Hidar Menbic, commander of the Manbij Military Council, pointed to the increasing intensity of armed clashes between Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in and near the northern Syrian city of Manbij.

    Earlier this week, the Manbij Military Council, which is part of the SDF, captured a FSA tank on the outskirts of the city, media reports said.

    With armed clashed between the FSA and SDF on the increase, the civilian population has reportedly begun to flee the area and American soldiers and armored vehicles have been deployed to the north and west of Manbij.

    "At least two people were injured after FSA forces carried out attacks on the villages of Gorheyi, Lasiye and Halda located 29 kilometers from Manbij.Prior to the attacks, Turkey actively bombarded these three villages using howitzers and heavy weapons. The attacks eventually escalated into armed clashes between the FSA and the Manbij Military Council," Hidar Menbic told Sputnik Turkey.

    According to him, it's hard to say whether the Turkish soldiers are now directly involved in the clashes.

    A Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter walks in the silos and mills of Manbij after the SDF took control of it, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016
    © REUTERS/ Rodi Said
    A Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter walks in the silos and mills of Manbij after the SDF took control of it, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, July 1, 2016

    He drew attention to the fact that those FSA units which attacked the three villages are taking part in Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh.

    "By conducting these attacks, the forces involved in Operation Euphrates Shield are seeking to spark chaos in the region. They want to cause a sense of frustration and hopelessness among the people," Menbic said, stressing the Manbij Military Council's determination to oppose these plans.

    He confirmed that the US servicemen have been deployed to Manbij in a bid to prevent clashes between the warring sides.

    Menbic added that thus far, the US military had used arms against neither FSA forces nor Turkey.

    Earlier,a high-ranking representative of the SDF, who wished not to disclose his name, told Sputnik Turkey that the US is "taking all necessary measures" to defend Manbij from possible attacks by the Turkish military and the FSA.

    The source said that the US set up its military base in the city and hung up its flag as a "warning sign" to Ankara.

    The Syrian city of Manbij in Aleppo Governorate, 30 kilometers west of the Euphrates, is currently under control of the SDF, an American-backed group affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

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    Tags:
    howitzers, forces, soldiers, attacks, clashes, chaos, weapons, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Free Syrian Army (FSA), Manbij, Syria
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