Turkish Airstrike Kills Six Civilians in Manbij

Turkish airstrikes have killed six civilians in the Sibul Weran village west of Manbij in northern Syria.

The Manbij Military Council (MMC) has confirmed that Turkish airstrikes, which began yesterday and continued tonight have killed six civilians in the western countryside of Manbij. Other civilians have also been injured.

Airstrikes began at approximately 19:00pm local time on the Sibul Weran village as sporadic clashes between the MMC and Turkey-back Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups continued.

A Turkish tank has been destroyed by MMC fighters according to latest reports.

Clashes have intensified recently as the battle for the strategically important al-Bab city, north of Manbij continues. Turkish backed FSA groups declared they had besieged al-Bab, with president Tayyip Erdogan saying, “We will move to Manbij once al-Bab is secured.” Rojavan forces want to take al-Bab to unite Rojava’s Afrin and Kobane cantons.

Turkey is trying to prevent the creation of a contiguous entity in the north of Syria to prevent Kurdish aspirations in the region and launched the Euphrates Shield operation with several FSA groups in August.

Turkey accuses Rojava’s People’s Protection Units (YPG) of being allied with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it views as a ‘terrorist group’.

The YPG, one of the leading forces in the multi-ethnic Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had declared it had recently withdrawn its fighters from Manbij – leaving the defence of the city to the MMC – after complaints by Turkey to the anti-ISIS coalition. However Ankara has launched airstrikes on Manbij on the pretext of attacking YPG members.

Turkey’s attacks on YPG and SDF forces have been accused of hindering the fight against the Islamic State.

Source: ANHA, Kurdishquestion.com