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Turkish Forces Bombard Kurdish-led Positions Near Northern Syrian City of Manbij

Gulan Media April 11, 2024 News
Turkish Forces Bombard Kurdish-led Positions Near Northern Syrian City of Manbij

The Turkish army, in conjunction with Syrian proxies, initiated bombardments on Wednesday targeting positions held by Kurdish-led forces near the city of Manbij in northern Syria, according to a report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based war monitor.

Artillery shells were utilized in the assault on positions belonging to the Manbij Military Council, an entity affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which manages security in the Arab-majority area of Manbij in eastern Aleppo. The SOHR did not provide details regarding casualties resulting from the clashes.

Tensions in the region have escalated, with an uptick in violence observed near Manbij between Kurdish-led forces and militants backed by Turkey. The strategic significance of Manbij, situated at the crossroads connecting Aleppo, Raqqa, and the Kurdish-administered northeast, has made it a focal point for Turkey's military operations aimed at seizing control of northern Syria from Kurdish forces.

In 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan designated Manbij, alongside Tal Rifaat, as Ankara’s next targets, part of a broader strategy to establish a 30-kilometer "safe zone" along the southern border. Turkey has consistently accused the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a key component of the SDF, of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Since 2016, Turkey has conducted three military operations targeting Kurdish forces in northern Syria, resulting in the invasion of significant towns along the border, including Afrin, Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain), and Gire Spi (Tal Abyad).

The clashes near Manbij highlight the ongoing complexities in Syria's multifaceted conflict, where various local and international actors vie for control and influence over strategic territories, often leading to violent confrontations and humanitarian crises.

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