Rezan Gilo, the joint chief of defense in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), has told Sputnik that the international coalition led by the US is building new bases in northern Syria.
"Yes, the international coalition is building new bases in Manbij, and it is connected with military plans. … Be it US bases or French ones, we are interacting with it [the coalition] rather than the countries. In general, the construction of bases is underway in northern Syria, especially in the east of the Euphrates," Gilo said.
According to him, Daesh* managed to partly recover its forces thanks to the pro-Turkish forces in Afrin and a threat of an attack on Manbij and other areas in northern Syria.
"Whether the Americans will decide to leave or stay on [in Syria], we hope for their strength, as well as the strength of our people and our fighters. The presence of the US-led coalition helps us combat terrorists. But in any case, we are ready to obliterate the terrorists in the east of the Euphrates and in northern Syria as a whole," Gilo pointed out.
He stressed that the US-led coalition building military bases in northern Syria is part of its cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to him, the new bases will be used by Arab-Kurdish paramilitary forces, in coordination with coalition troops. Several such bases are located in Manbij, a city which Gilo said remains a coordination hub of the coalition and the SDF.
Manbij Bases for US Military
Earlier this week, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported that the US military had established two bases in northern Syria's Manbij region, which is facing the threat of a Turkish offensive.
According to the media source, on April 1, about 300 US soldiers arrived in Manbij with a convoy comprising a considerable number of armored vehicles and construction machines.
Turkey aims to occupy Kurdish-held Manbij as part of its Operation Olive Branch, which kicked off on January 20, 2018.
Citing security concerns, Ankara and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) opposition forces earlier pledged to clear the Kurds from strategic regions along the Syria-Turkey border.
Ankara blacklists the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) — the backbone of the SDF — as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey as a terrorist organization.
Daesh Militants' New Pledge of Loyalty
In late 2017, an Iraqi military parade to celebrate the final defeat of Daesh was held in Baghdad's Green Zone, with December 10 being declared as an annual national holiday by the country's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.
In a separate development this week, Daesh militants said in a statement posted on their social media accounts that they renew their pledge of loyalty to "the commander of the faithful and the caliph of the Muslims, the mujahid sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi."
Most recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that even though Daesh had been defeated in Syria, the terrorist group's destructive potential is still in place.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia