US coalition continues to assist SDF-led Manbij Military Council north Syria

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Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij countryside. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The US-led coalition in a statement to ARA News said that their forces continue to assist the Manbij Military Council, that was established by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate Manbij city and defend it against Islamic State’s (ISIS) aggression.

“While we will not discuss the precise locations of US Special Operations forces, US Special Forces do continue their advise, assist and accompany mission with the Syrian Democratic Forces across northern Syria,” Colonel Joseph Scrocca, U.S. Army, CJTF-OIR Public Affairs Director told ARA News on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the senior coalition spokesperson told ARA News that US Special Forces do not conduct missions in Manbij.

“US Special Forces are not conducting advise and assist missions in or around Manbij which was liberated from ISIS oppression on August 13, 2016,” Colonel Joseph Scrocca said.

However, on Wednesday, the coalition spokesperson clarified their position and confirmed ongoing military support to the Manbij Military Council (MMC).

“After Manbij’s liberation from ISIS’ oppression on Aug 13, 2016, US Special Forces continued to train, advise and assist Manbij Military Council forces with regular visits,” Colonel Joseph Scrocca said.

“The MMC provides security to Manbij as the local governance works to revitalize their city for its population. The Coalition will continue to work in close coordination with partner forces and allies to remain focused in delivering a lasting defeat to our common enemy, ISIS,” he concluded.

Three fighters of the Manbij Military Council (MMC) were buried  in Manbij on Tuesday. They were most likely killed in clashes with Turkish forces in Arima village –20 kilometers from West from Manbij– that the Turkish army shelled on 19 February.

Moreover, on Wednesday, the General Command of the Asayish (Kurdish Security Police) handed over the security responsibility to the internal security force of Manbij in a ceremony attended by Asayish head Ciwan Ibrahim, and leaders of the civilian and military councils of Manbij.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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