Syrian Forces Enter Manbij, Raise Country’s Flag – Official Statement
The Syrian army entered Manbij on Friday for the first time in years, it said in a statement, after the Kurdish YPG militia urged the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to protect the town from Turkish attacks.
The army said it would guarantee “full security for all Syrian citizens and others present in the area”.
It was unclear whether the government forces had spread out into the town, where US forces have operated and set up a base earlier this year.
Earlier in the day, Kurdish-led People's Protection Units [YPG] urged Damascus to take control of the city amid a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Ankara was ready to start an operation in the area.
"Considering the obligations of the army to respond to the call by the people of Manbij, the General Staff declares that the army has entered Manbij and raised the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic there", the statement read as cited by the Syrian state broadcaster.
The Syrian Arab Army also stated it would "guarantee full security for all Syrian citizens and others" present in Manbij.
The city, previously controlled by the YPG was left by the Kurdish forces, who announced they would be focusing on the fight against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] to the east of the Euphrates.
The move comes amid the withdrawal of US troops from Syria after US President Donald Trump claimed that the coalition defeated Daesh in the country.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team