The Turkish army troops and over 20,000 Ankara-backed militants are standing orders to kick off a heavy attack on the Kurdish militias in the town Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo, a Turkish media outlet reported on Monday.
The Turkish-language Yeni Safak daily quoted Adnan Abu Feisal, head of the Free Army’s Military Council in Manbij affiliated to Turkey, as reporting that the Turkish forces and the militants of the Free Army have been kept on alert in 7 points near Manbij.
The daily further said that over 20,000 members of Ankara-backed free army have deployed in a region East of Manbij, adding that the Turkish army is planning to purge the region between Manbij the to borders with Iraq of the Kurds.
The paper went on to say that based on reliable reports the first objective of the Ankara forces’ operation on the Eastern Bank of the Euphrates River is cleansing the region between Manbij and Sacho Borok region and then the Eastern bank of the river.
In a relevant development earlier this month, the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) were preparing for a major showdown with the Turkish military in Northeastern Aleppo.
According to local activists, the YPG was seen raising trenches and building new positions in Western Manbij amid reports of a possible military operation by the Turkish Army.
Furthermore, the YPG brought in reinforcements in order to strengthen their forces around Manbij.
The Turkey’s recent comments about the presence of Kurdish fighters inside Manbij raised a lot of red flags for the YPG, as it appears Ankara was preparing to launch a new operation to expel the group from the city.
While the US currently has a military presence in Manbij, it appears Turkey is not willing to budge; they are demanding the complete withdrawal of the YPG or else they will attack.