The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Turkey state media says US 'setting up military bases' in Syria's Manbij Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Turkey state media says US 'setting up military bases' in Syria's Manbij

Manbij is still held by the YPG, who Turkey last month ousted from Afrin [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 April, 2018

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Manbij is still held by the YPG Kurdish militia, who Turkey last month ousted from the Afrin region to the west.
Turkey's state-run news agency on Tuesday said that the United States is setting up two military bases in the Manbij region of northern Syria.

The Anadolu news agency, citing "trustworthy local sources", said one base would be set up in the village of Dadat eight kilometres from Sajur River. 

The other base is being built four kilometres from the "frontline" where the People's Protection Units (YPG) control ends south of Dadat.

Manbij is still held by the YPG Kurdish militia, who Turkey last month ousted from the Afrin region to the west.

Tensions between Ankara and Washington are still high over Turkey's operation against Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

The YPG is seen as a terror group by Turkey but has been a key US ally in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria. Washington has maintained a low-key presence on the ground to assist them.

Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to expand Turkey's operation in Syria to Manbij, raising fears of a confrontation with the forces of NATO ally the United States.

Anadolu said that 300 American troops had arrived to reinforce Manbij in anticipation of a possible Turkish operation.

This is not the first time Anadolu has revealed details of alleged American positions in northern Syria.

In July 2017 it published an article giving details on US bases in Syria with information on troop numbers and aircraft. 

Washington expressed grave concern but Turkish officials expressed indignation at the notion the information had been leaked from official sources.

Turkey and the United States had in March established working groups aimed at defusing the situation over Manbij.

However the abrupt departure from office of former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and the tapping of hardliner Mike Pompeo as his successor has put this on hold for now.

On Friday, Anadolu also published a story saying that 100 French special forces soldiers were deployed at five bases in YPG-controlled areas in Syria. The French army declined to comment.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More