Erdogan's adviser says Turkey will stop operation in Syria after capturing Manbij

Following the successful operation against the ISIL terror group in Al-Bab, the next target for the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) will be the northern Syrian city of Manbij, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Erdogan also ruled out any chance of cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Kurdish militia. Upon this call, the Turkish commander also ordered the rebels to cease fire and a clash was avoided, sources said. In recent weeks, Russia, which backed Assad, and Turkey managed to broker an unsteady truce between their sponsored forces to concentrate on defeating ISIS, the common enemy of the government and rebel forces, in the northwestern city of al-Bab. Syrian government forces on Sunday announced the capture of the town of Tadef, 4 km (2.5 miles) to the south.

We review key developments in Syria, including the opposition calling on Russian Federation to pressure the Syrian government, Turkey saying Manbij is its next target and the Syrian military and SDF opening trade routes in northern Syria.

It said that the Syrian forces backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah group moved, after taking Tadef, toward the town of Khafseh at the western bank of the Euphrates River, as the town contains the main water pumping station to Aleppo city.

Turkey and the new USA administration of President Donald Trump has also been discussing a possible joint operation in Raqqa.

For the Turks, capturing al-Bab cuts the way in the face of the growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria, a red line drawn by Turkey.

A YPG fighter walks along the Turkish-Syria border wall.

"As soon Manbij is captured, Turkey will stop its operation in Syria", Cevik said.

Bashir Othman, a Syrian journalist, was cited by Kurdish news outlets as saying that what Silo probably meant is that the Kurdish forces could cooperate with the Syrian government army to open the road.

  • Leroy Wright