Syria military takes control of Manbij

Syria military takes control of Manbij

Syria's military announced it has taken control of the flash-point Kurdish-held town of Manbij, where Turkey has threatened an offensive.

There was no immediate comment from Turkey or the U.S., whose troops have been patrolling the town and the tense front line between Manbij and adjacent towns where Turkey-backed fighters were based, the AP reported.

Turkey, which views the Kurdish militia as a terrorist group, had been threatening a military operation against Manbij. Turkey and its allied fighters have been amassing troops around Manbij in recent days.

The Syrian government has said it welcomes the Kurdish group returning under its authority. But government officials have stated they will not consider an autonomous area, a main demand for the Kurds.

The Syrian military declaration came shortly after the main Syrian Kurdish militia invited the government to seize control of Manbij to prevent a Turkish attack. The development signals the two sides have agreed to the new arrangement. The Syrian military said it raised the state flag in Manbij.

The Syrian military said it was responding to calls from residents of Manbij and promised safety for all living there.

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