Commanders in the Free Syrian Army denied claims by the Assad regime forces that they entered the town of Manbij in eastern rural Aleppo. The Turkish Ministry of Defense warned the Assad regime against any ‘provocative actions’ in the town.
“The Assad regime forces made many similar claims in the past,” Baladi News Network quoted Raed Al-Hamoud, Spokesman for the Free National Army as saying. “They are still outside the town while US troops are still inside.”
Al-Hamoud pointed out that the Assad regime made similar claims with regards to the Afrin region in northwestern Syria. He added: “We are continuing with preparations for the battle for Manbij and will not allow any force to enter the town.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Assad regime’s claims about entering Manbij are part of its “psychological warfare,” adding that “our goal is to teach the PYD militia a hard lesson and we are utterly determined to do so.”
In a statement on Friday, the Turkish Ministry of Defense said: “We warn all parties to stay away from provocative actions and rhetoric that will make the region more unstable.”
Aircraft of the US-led coalition flew over Manbij following announcement by the Assad regime that its forces entered the town at the invitation of the PYD militia. The Turkish army, meanwhile, continued to send reinforcements to the Syrian border while the Free Syrian Army is massing up forces near the town. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)