The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Play Video

The New Arab

Syria regime says Kurdish fighters withdraw from Manbij

The Syrian regime army said nearly 400 Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from Manbij. [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 January, 2019

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Last week the Kurdish YPG invited regime forces to deploy to the key city following a shock announcement that American forces would leave Syria.

The Syrian regime army said on Wednesday "nearly 400 Kurdish fighters" had withdrawn from Manbij near the border with Turkey, days after the Kurds appealed to Damascus for support against a threatened Turkish offensive.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) previously said they had pulled out of the area, which they seized from the Islamic State group in 2016, and that fighters there belonged to local SDF-allied militia.

Last week they invited regime forces to deploy to the key city following a shock announcement that American forces would leave Syria.

"According to information, approximately 400 Kurdish fighters have left Manbij so far," the Syrian regime defence ministry said.

Their departure was in line with an agreement "for the return of normal life to the area of northern Syria," it said.

The ministry showed a video of dozens of vehicles travelling along a road carrying armed fighters waving the flag of the YPG and its female counterpart the YPJ.

Manbij occupies a crucial spot on the map in Syria's war, near the junction of three separate swathes of territory that form spheres of Russian, Turkish, and for now, US influence.

There was no immediate comment from the YPG or the SDF on the withdrawal or on how many fighters might remain in Manbij.

Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist group tied to the PKK inside its own borders, and has staged incursions into Syria in support of Syrian rebels to push it from the Turkish frontier.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More