03:08 GMT +324 July 2019
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    WATCH Alleged US Helicopters Spotted Over Manbij Amid Turkey's Looming Op

    © AFP 2019 / JOSEPH EID
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    On Friday, the Syrian Arab Army said it had entered Manbij and raised the flag of the Arab Republic in response to a request from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to take control of the northern city amid Turkey's impending offensive.

    Two aircraft, believed to be US Army helicopters, were spotted flying over the Syrian city of Manbij on Friday shortly after Reuters cited the main Turkey-backed Syrian rebel force as saying that its convoys, along with Turkish forces, were heading towards the frontlines with the northern city, in "full readiness… to start military operations" to liberate it.

    Another video shows the Turkish military entering the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Aleppo province.

    Earlier this week, Damascus announced the deployment of troops to the city after the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) called on the government to take control of Manbij as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey was ready to kick off a military operation in the area.

    READ MORE: Syrian Forces Enter Manbij and Raise Country's Flag — General Staff

    Erdogan brushed off the reports on Manbij passing under the Syrian government's control as a "psychological operation", saying  that the situation in the region remained "indefinite".

    While the situation around Manbij escalated after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Ankara has long been threatening to launch an offensive against the YPG, which it considers to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey.

    Related:

    Manbij Deal a ‘Gateway to Rapprochement’ Between Kurds and Damascus
    Damascus Regaining Control Over Manbij is Step to Stabilise Crisis - Tehran
    Syrian Forces Trying to Run 'Psychological Operation' in Manbij - Erdogan
    SDF Backs Syrian Army's Entry Into Manbij Amid Turkish Threat - Spokeswoman
    Eyewitnesses Say US Troops Remain in Syrian City of Manbij, Continue Patrol
    Tags:
    military operation in Syria, offensive, chopper, US troop withdrawal, helicopter, operation, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Manbij, Turkey, Syria, United States
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