The Syrian flag was hoisted in the city of Manbij and the Syrian army continued its deployment around the city in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, while the opposition factions denied entering the area.
A member of the Syrian People’s Assembly for Manbij Eid Khalawi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa: “The people of Manbij city raised the Syrian flag in Manbij public square this evening to celebrate the entry of the Syrian army and its deployment in the villages of Al Farat – Zankal – Arab Hassan – Saidia – and the surrounding area. Al A’rima town, Aoun Al Dadat area, and Sajur river line north of Mebenj”.
He denied the member of the People’s Assembly “the existence of any role for the forces (democratic Syria) SDF in the next stage in terms of military deployment or management of the city”.
For his part, military spokesman in the Syrian National Army (Turkish-backed) military spokesman Major Yusuf Hammoud denied what was circulated about the entry of Syrian government forces to the city of Manbij and Ain Al Arab.
“We in the National Army confirm that these rumors are not true at all, and that the Assad regime is seeking to exploit the status quo for some gains”, Hammoud said on social media pages.
“The battle to liberate Manbij from the YPG gangs is imminent and will be launched within a few hours.
“In cooperation with our allies in the Turkish army, and relying on our fighters from the region who are eager to liberate their cities and meet their families, we will cut the road for anyone who wants to fish in troubled waters”.
Sources close to Syrian government forces denied Syrian army positions were shelled in the southern countryside of Raqqa.
The sources, who requested anonymity, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, “Syrian government forces began to advance towards the province of Raqqa in northeast Syria to control the province”.
Sources close to the Syrian government forces revealed on Sunday that “units of the Syrian army started moving from the area of Athria towards the Rusafa and Al Tabqa area in the western countryside of Raqqa to reach the city of Raqqa and the town of Ain Issa in its northern countryside”.
The sources denied “what was circulated about the exposure of a Syrian army convoy near the town of Mansoura, west of the city of Raqqa”.
In the province of Al Hasakah, the sources confirmed the control of government forces on all SDF sites in the cities of Al Hasakah and Al Qamishli to complete their deployment in the entire province. In the eastern countryside of Aleppo, the sources confirmed that “the Syrian army will complete its deployment tomorrow morning, on the condition that the US forces in three bases in Manbij city will leave at 9 am tomorrow morning (Monday) local time.
The Kurdish self-government said on Sunday it had reached an agreement with Damascus that the Syrian army would deploy along its border with Turkey to counter Ankara’s five-day offensive against pro-Syrian factions.
Turkey began its offensive, which is about to complete its first phase of control of a large border area, two days after Washington withdrew its soldiers from border points in a move that looked like a green US light.
Syria Democratic Forces, which fought ISIS with US support, called it a “stab from the back”.
Despite criticism, accusing him of abandoning the Kurds, US President Donald Trump has instructed him to begin withdrawing about 1,000 US troops from Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.
With Trump’s insistence on his position and in the face of Turkish progress, the self-administration said in a statement: “In order to prevent and repel this aggression, it was agreed with the Syrian government to enter the Syrian army and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to support the democratic forces of Syria”.
This comes shortly after the official Syrian media announced the start of the movement of army units towards the north of the country.
Previous negotiations between the Syrian government and the Kurds have hit a deadlock, with Damascus insisting on restoring the status quo ante before the conflict broke out in 2011, and the Kurds sticking to their own administration and their civilian and military institutions they built at the beginning of the conflict years after decades of marginalization by successive Syrian governments.
However, in the face of the Turkish attack, the Kurdish self-administration on Wednesday called on Russia to play the role of “guarantor” in the “dialogue” with Damascus.
The Kurds didn’t elaborate on the details of the agreement and whether they had made concessions to Damascus, which has long taken on their alliance with Washington.
However, in an article in Foreign Policy Sunday, the commander of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, wrote, “The Russians and the Syrian regime have given us proposals that can save the lives of millions of people living under our protection”.
“We don’t trust their promises and, in fact, it is difficult to We know who we can trust”.
“We know we’ll have to make painful concessions with Moscow and Bashar Al Assad if we choose to work with them”, Abdi said, however, we’ve to choose between concessions or annihilate our people, and we’ll certainly choose life for our people”.
In the past few days, the SDF has called on Washington to review its options and to assume its “responsibilities” towards it.
It has demanded an air ban on Turkish flights.
But the US president, who has long waved his intention to withdraw his troops from Syria, reiterating that his country will not participate in “stupid wars” anymore, appeared to insist on his decision, and only threatened Turkey with sanctions.
“I spoke to the president last night and directed that we start withdrawing troops from northern Syria”, Defense Minister Mark Esper said Sunday, explaining to Fox News that the number of troops to be withdrawn is “less than a thousand”, without specifying a timetable.
After five days of heavy artillery and aerial bombardment, Turkish forces and their factions now control about 100 kilometers along the border between the city of Tal Abyad (north of Raqqa) and the town of Ras Al Ain (north of Hasaka) at a depth of about 30 kilometers, according to the Syrian Observatory.
The forces took control, according to the same source, on the city of Tel Abyad, and the town of Ras Al Ain is still witnessing clashes.
On Sunday, 26 civilians were killed in shelling by Turkish troops and Syrian fighters in several border areas, according to the Observatory, including 10 killed in a Turkish raid on a convoy of journalists in Ras Al Ain.
Among those killed in the bombing was a reporter for the Kurdish news agency Hewar.
The death toll from the Turkish attack exceeded 60 civilians, in addition to the deaths of 104 members of the Syria Democratic Forces.
In Turkey, 18 civilians have been killed in shells that hit border areas in recent days, authorities said.
Turkey’s offensive, which prompted 130,000 people to flee, according to the United Nations, aims to create a 30-kilometer buffer zone under its control that would transport a large part of its 3.6 million Syrian refugees.
Analysts had expected the attack in the first phase would be confined to the area between Ras Al Ain and Tal Abyad for more than 100 kilometers.
After France and Germany decided to suspend arms sales to Turkey and threatened Washington with sanctions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday: “They think they can push Turkey to retreat through these threats.
Several Western countries have warned that the Turkish offensive could help revive the Islamic State, which is still operating through sleeper cells despite its field defeat by Syria Democratic Forces.
The SDF reiterated its fear that its involvement in the fighting with Turkish forces would negatively affect its efforts to maintain security in detention centers and camps, which include thousands of ISIS fighters and their families.
The self-administration announced on Sunday that 785 families of foreign jihadists had fled the Ain Issa camp in the northern countryside of Raqqa after Turkish shelling near it.
The self-administration and the Syrian Observatory reported the withdrawal of the security guards from the camp, which is home to 13,000 displaced people, including the families of members of the organization.
Twelve thousand people from the families of the fighters of the organization in three camps controlled by Kurdish forces.
Following the Statement of Self – Management of Northern and Eastern Syria
The self-administration of the north and east of Syria issued a statement to the public saying: “The self-administration of the north and east of Syria through its military forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces, formed from all Syrian components in the self-administration areas, fought terrorism starting from the city of Kobani in 2014 and then continued the battles of liberation.
Against this terrorist organization in northern and eastern Syria, Manbij liberated west of the Euphrates then Tal Abyad and Tabqa until it reached its alleged capital Raqqa and then to Deir Ezzor and declared victory over this organization after five years of fighting on 23/3/2019 in its last pockets east of Deir Ezzor, and this geography space liberated equivalent to one-third of Syria has provided SDF beyond 11 thousand martyrs and 24 thousand injured, including permanent disabilities.
This was a high price to liberate the Syrians and all the components of the oppression and brutality of these terrorist organizations and to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria.
Our political project in northern and eastern Syria did not call for secession, but we have been calling for dialogue and resolving the Syrian crisis peacefully.
We didn’t attack nor threaten the neighboring countries and even the Turkish state, but they still accused us of terrorism and had an active negative role in spreading terrorism in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.
Today, they invade and invade Syrian territory liberated by the SDF with the blood of their children.
In the past five days, the most heinous crimes have been committed against unarmed civilians.
The SDF has responded to this brutal aggression with courage and courage, and many martyrs and wounded have fallen to preserve Syrian sovereignty, however, Turkey is continuing this aggression and in order to prevent and repel this aggression, it has been agreed with the Syrian government.
It has the duty to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty so that the Syrian army can enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to support the SDF to repel this aggression and liberate the areas entered by the Turkish army and its hired mercenaries, and the rest of the Syrian territories and cities occupied by the Turkish army as Afrin and other Syrian cities and towns.
Therefore, we call on all our people and all components in northern and eastern Syria, especially the border areas that this deployment came through coordination and compatibility with the self-management of the north and east of Syria and the Syria Democratic Forces.
Self – management of Northern and Eastern Syria