Fighting Between Turkish-Supported Rebels & Kurdish YPG Militia Across Northwest

Turkish-supported rebels and Kurdish militia are clashing across northern Syria, less than 48 hours after Ankara’s intervention helped rebels take the ISIS-controlled border city of Jarablus.

26 Aug 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Rebels fought with the Kurdish YPG militia in the village of Amarinah, about 3 km (2 miles) south of Jarablus. Turkish artillery shelled the YPG-held Mennagh Airbase in Aleppo Province, while in northwest Syria, the YPG attacked from the Kurdish Afrin canton, only to pull back amid Turkish artillery fire. Pro-opposition activists said an attempt to cut the corridor between Azaz and Marea in northern Aleppo Province was repulsed.

Turkish media confirmed that the military shelled a YPG unit south of Jarablus about 6 p.m. local time, claiming that they were advancing despite a promise by the US that the militia would retreat.

The fighting overtook claims on Thursday — by both American and Turkish officials — that the Kurdish militia had withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River, Turkey’s “red line” for Kurdish territorial control.

A “Turkish senior official” said, after a phone call between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, “Kerry emphasized that the PYD/YPG forces have been withdrawing to the east of the Euphrates.”

In another signal that Kurdish forces would not pull back, the Manbij Military Council — set up by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the YPG — said its fighters captured two villages south of Manbij, the ISIS-held city taken by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces earlier this month.

Manbij is about 40 km (25 miles) south of Jarablus.

The Shahba Council in northern Aleppo, set up by the SDF, said on Thursday that the “town of Jarabulus will become a ‘grave for the criminal occupier Erdogan and his mercenaries”.