Occupying forces escalate attacks on Manbij

The Turkish army and allied jihadists escalate their aggression against Manbij. Artillery attacks are directed against several villages on the edge of the line of contact between the autonomous region and the occupied zone.

The attacks by the Turkish army and its jihadist proxy forces against the autonomous regions of northern and eastern Syria aimed at expanding the occupation zone continue unabated. The city of Manbij, which has been under artillery fire almost every day for weeks, is a particular focus of attention. The shelling of the region also continued on Tuesday.

According to the Manbij Military Council, the bombardments continue to focus on villages on the northern and north-western side of the city, which are located near the line of contact between the autonomous region and the occupied zone. Five villages are affected by the attacks, which are mainly directed against Qawukli (Al-Kavakli), Wart Wiran and Korhyuk.

More than 75 shells have hit the three villages since the early morning, all fired from the Turkish military base in the occupied village of Sheikh Nasser (ku. Şêx Nasir) north-west of Manbij. The village of Qawukli was particularly heavily bombarded; targeted by around fifty shells and mortars. A wildfire broke out in the village of Korhyuk as the shells were targeted at cultivated areas. The civil defence of Manbij was deployed and tried to extinguish the flames.

Since the occupation of Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tall Abyad) in autumn 2019, there have been regular attacks in the area around Manbij as part of a "low-intensity war", primarily by mercenaries from the so-called "Syrian National Army" (SNA) militia organisation set up by Turkey. Since Manbij was named by Turkish regime leader Erdoğan as the primary target for a new invasion of northern and eastern Syria, the phases of high-intensity attacks have become increasingly prolonged.

Manbij is located 30 kilometres south of the Turkish border and occupies a key strategic position in Turkey's plans to expand its illegal occupation zone in Syria. The city, which is administered by DAANES (Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria), is located on the important M4 highway, which runs through northern Syria like a lifeline and was a strategic supply route for the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (ISIS). Manbij was liberated from ISIS terror in August 2016. Since then, the Manbij Military Council (MMC), which is a component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and also includes the Enîya Kurdan (ar. Jabhat al-Akrad, i.e. the Kurdish Front) and the Idlib Revolutionary Brigade, has been responsible for the defence of the region.