Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Turkey-backed forces besiege al-Bab, eyeing Manbij, says Erdoğan

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have besieged the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held northern Syrian town of al-Bab from the west and have set their eyes on Manbij for their next offensive, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 22.

“We have now reached al-Bab; we have also encircled and besieged al-Bab from the west. This is not enough. From there we will also head to Manbij,” said Erdoğan at a security conference in Ankara on Nov. 22.

“Why are we going to go to Manbij? Not because we are keen on it. There are PYD and YPG in Manbij. They should also leave [Manbij] and go further to the east,” said Erdoğan, referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG).

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