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Syrian Kurds cede buffer as Turkish-backed FSA advances on Manbij

After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named Turkey's next target as Manbij and the foreign minister promised to strike if the Kurdish People’s Protection Units don't withdraw, Turkish-backed fighters in Syria seem to be acting on the threats in a cluster of villages west of Manbij.
Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters walk on the rubble of damaged shops and buildings in the city of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 10, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTSMDAF
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As if the murky constellation of conflicts in Syria were not tangled enough, Turkey seems poised to muddy the waters further by escalating its battle against the Syrian Kurdish-led force that is helping the United States defeat the Islamic State.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for some time now been vowing to capture Manbij, a Syrian Arab town that was liberated from IS by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with the help of coalition air power last year. “After the liberation of al-Bab from Daesh terrorists, Turkey’s new target in Syria is Manbij,” Erdogan told reporters March 1, using the Arabic acronym for the jihadi group.

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