During the Security Conference that has just taken place in Munich, the US Secretary of Defence, Patrick Shanahan, brought together his principal allies (which included Iraq and Turkey) and asked them to take over from the US in Syria as the US gets ready to pull out.
Declaring that Damascus’s taking back control of the territory would not guarantee stability, the US Secretary of Defense requested that 1,500 men remain in North East Syria.
In any event, those present have questioned the utility in embarking on a mission probably condemned to failure following the US departure. The French delegation has rejected the US request. The British have requested a time out for reflection.
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From 2014 – 2016, the city of Manbij, in the governorate of Aleppo, has been occupied by Daesh. It has been freed by pro-US Kurds supported by the International Coalition. In June 2018, the US entrusted the management of the city to the “Military Council of Manbij” and organized common patrols there with Turkey.
Although they are seeking “libertarian communalism” of the US anarchist Murray Bookchin, the authorities of Manbij have implemented a policy of the forced Kurdization of the city. Even though the population was initially only a quarter Kurd, teaching in Arabic was prohibited. The Arabs, the Assyrians and the Tcherkess were largely discriminated against and looted.
Following the announcement that US Troops would be pulled out of Syria, Turkey planned a military operation against pro-US Kurds. The latter had first appealed to France to help them but as they had not obtained from France the help they requested, they appealed to Damascus. The pro-US Kurds had asked for Syrian troops to be deployed first at Manbij, then throughout the North East of Syria, above the Euphrates.
However the Turkmen have expressed their desire to be set free from the dictatorship of the pro-US Kurds, not by Syria but by Turkey. On 28 December 2018, the Syrian Arab Army entered Manbij and hoisted the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic.
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