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FSA sends hundreds of fighters to Manbij area, Aleppo: Pentagon approves US forces withdrawal from Syria

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
TranslationEditor: Farah Nassif |
Translation: Maan Salti
Publication date: 2018/12/24 11:27

Field and local news:

The Jaysh al-Sharqiyah faction of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, which is affiliated with the Interim Syrian Government, sent hundreds of fighters and military vehicles to the perimeter of the city of Manbij, Aleppo, Northern Syria, in preparation for the Turkish military operation in the area east of the Euphrates River.

On Monday, the Turkish Army sent military reinforcements, including heavy guns, tanks, military vehicles, and trucks filled with munition and weapons, to the Turkish forces at the Syrian-Turkish border.

On Sunday, the Kurdish National Council called on the International Coalition's forces to stop Turkey's threats of launching a military operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), as the United States announced withdrawing forces from Syria.

The people of the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), Aleppo, Northern Syria, expressed fear from facing tragic events similar to those occurred in the city of Afrin, after the Turkish threats and the US withdrawal decision.

The Kurdish Autonomous Administration denied negotiating with the Syrian government, adding that the latter is attempting to take advantage of the Turkish threats and the US decision to enter the area.

Also on Monday, an explosion of a bomb planted by unknown persons in a military vehicle injured two Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) members near the village of Albu Hamad, Eastern al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria.

In Northern Syria, the Syrian Interim Government's Minister of Economy and Resources, Mohammad al-Ahmad, said that the ministry started coordinating for services with the administrations of the Bab al-Hawa crossing connecting Turkey to Idlib, and the village of al-Ays crossing connecting Idlib to Aleppo. The ministry also coordinated with the administration of the Mourik crossing connecting Syrian government forces-controlled areas to others out of their control in Hama, Central Syria.

International and political news:

On Monday, the US secretary of Defense James Mattis formally signed the decision of withdrawing US forces from Syria, while Turkey threatens to attack the YPG east of the Euphrates River.

The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) said on Monday that the department is now focused on pulling out US soldiers safely from Syria, avoiding to give information about the American weapons given to the SDF over the past years.

The Pentagon's statement came after the US President Donald Trump tweeted about a phone call in which he and his Turkish counterpart discussed fighting the Islamic State (IS), the US forces withdrawal, and the US-Turkish partnership in Syria. Also on Twitter, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he and President Trump agreed on increasing the level of coordination between the two countries in several issues, including the developments in Syria.

The French President Emmanuel Macron denounced President Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from Syria, saying that an ally must be trustworthy and must coordinate with the rest of the allies.

Major Yousif al-Hammoud, an official spokesman for the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, said that the army did not detect "actual" withdrawal of US forces from US locations. Al-Hammoud added that the US only reduced the number of soldiers in the area and withdrew from a few locations near the city of Tall Abyad, Northern al-Raqqa while handing over other locations to the SDF.

After the visit of Ali Mamlouk, the head of the National Security Bureau of the Syrian government, to Egypt, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) formed during the Riyadh II conference said on Sunday that those who "want to rehabilitate the Syrian criminal regime is a criminal too, and an enemy of the Syrian people."

On Sunday, the Syrian government and Egyptian media outlets announced that Mamlouk visited Egypt upon an official invitation by the Head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, Abbas Kamel.