US Central Command shows support to Syrian Arab fighters in Manbij following Turkish threats


SDF-led Manbij Military Council announcing the outcomes of the anti-ISIS operation in the Syrian border city of Manbij. File photo: ARA News

ARA News

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) posted tweets on its official Twitter account showing military training for Syrian Arab fighters in Manbij, the same day US top commander Joseph Votel visited Kobani and Raqqa frontlines.

It comes after threats by Turkish-backed rebels that they would attack Manbij, after they finished the al-Bab operation on 23 February.

“More faces, soon to face ISIS, at training center in N Syria today,” CENTCOM tweeted. “One of the many faces of Syrian Arab Coalition leaders in N Syria today. At recruit training site today in N Syria,” it also tweeted.

The CENTCOM tweet showed a picture of the commander of the SDF-linked Manbij Military Council, Abu Amjad, and other members of the same council.

“Manbij Military Council members, today, where they reviewed recruit training in fight against ISIS,” CENTCOM tweeted.

Furthermore, CENTCOM showed female recruits that received training from the US-led coalition and showed newly issued boots and weapons-issue given to Syrian Arab fighters.

“The first class of professionally trained female recruits at training camp, N Syria today,” CENTCOM tweeted.

“These newly issued are made for fighting. New Syrian Arab fighters in N Syria today,” it said. “Syrian Arab Coalition recruits receive weapons-issue at end of their initial training today in N Syria.”

This is not the first time CENTCOM tweets about the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that are currently carrying out an operation to isolate Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the Islamic state (ISIS).

On 11 January, CENTCOM tweeted a statement of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) affirming they have no links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which angered Turkey that sees the SDF as linked to the PKK and YPG.

The US-led coalition in a statement to ARA News on Wednesday said that their forces continue to assist the Manbij Military Council.

“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.

“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.

The Manbij Military Council (MMC) is a coalition that was established on 3 April 2016 at the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates to liberate the town of Manbij. The council captured the town from ISIS on 13 August following a heavy battle that lasted over two months and three weeks.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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