Kurdish Units Refuse to Leave Syria’s Manbij, Prepare to Defend Town

Sputnik-Middle East

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) did not withdraw from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, as was ordered by Turkey and the United States, and are preparing to defend the town, the Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

The YPG militia dug about 30 kilometers (19 miles) of anti-tank trench lines around the town’s center and built escape tunnels, the Turkish media reported citing sources.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said earlier this week that the United States was delaying the YPG withdrawal from Manbij, thereby failing to implement Washington’s joint plan with Ankara.

In early June, Turkey and the United States adopted a roadmap that provided for the withdrawal of the US-backed YPG, which is regarded by Ankara as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), from Manbij. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Meanwhile, the Syrian authorities have condemned the presence of Turkish and US forces around Manbij.

Turkey-Backed Terrorists Continue Plundering Afrin’s Historical Artifacts

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Ankara-Backed militants in Afrin in Western Aleppo still continue stealing the historical artifacts and usurping private properties, assets, farms and lands in the region, local sources reported on Thursday.

The sources said that the Ankara-backed Faylaq al-Awwal militants are plundering the artifacts in Cyrrhus (a city in ancient Syria founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great’s generals) known among Arabs as Nebi Huri castle in Northeastern Afrin.

They added that the commander of the terrorist group also monitors extensive excavation operations in the historical sites in the region, saying that the militants sell the artifacts in local and regional markets or transfer them to other regions.

Also, other reports said that the former commander of Faylaq al-Rahman terrorist group in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus has arrived at an agreement with the local council of Afrin to take control of a large mountainous area between Bastouleh and Afrin that is home to many villages later sell their control to other terrorists.

Relevant reports in August said that Ankara-backed militants continued damaging and plundering historical artifacts in Afrin region.

The Ankara-backed militant groups conducted excavation again in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo, destroying Nebi Huri and other historical sites in the region.

In the meantime, Director General for Antiquities and Museums of Syria Mahmoud Hammoud pointed to the major damage inflicted on Cyrrhus (Nebi Huri) that has been built in the fourth century BC, adding that the terrorists had ruined the pyramid-shaped mausoleum of Nebi Huri and built a cement building on top of it.

New Tensions Reported in Manbij Provoked by US-Backed SDF

TEHRAN (FNA)- The residents of Manbij have held several rallies to protest at the detention of tens of civilians by the US-backed Kurdish militia.

Local sources in Manbij in Eastern Aleppo reported on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have arrested over 20 young people in the village of Haj Hossein with the aim of forced recruitment, transferring them to their base in al-Sad region.

They added that the SDF has also set up several checkpoints in Manbij to increase recruitment.

Based on reports, the SDF measures against the civilians have angered and provoked them to hold daily protest rallies in Manbij.

Also, in September, local sources reported that the US-backed SDF and civilians in Manbij rejoin in Northeastern Syria engaged in heavy fighting due to continued forced recruitment by the SDF.

The sources said that al-Qashlah villagers fought against the SDF militias after a sum of 15 young men, who had been arrested by the SDF under the forced recruitment plan, managed to escape from the SDF base in Tishrin Dam region South of Manbij.

On Sunday, the SDF carried out their largest arrest operation across Hasaka and Raqqa provinces.

A local source said that the SDF has detained a sum of 800 young men in Hassan Darwish base, and sent 400 more to another base in Tal Abyadh.

The source went on to say that the SDF men are on alert as its measure has enraged civilians in Northeastern Syria.