BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops in the Manbij countryside have positioned themselves around the western and northern flanks of the city in a bid to block the Turkish forces, a field source in Aleppo city told Al-Masdar News.
According to the source, the Syrian Arab Army has been conducting daily patrols from Al-Arimeh (western Manbij) to the town of Dadat (northern Manbij).
He would add that the Syrian Arab Army has no intention to enter Manbij as the city itself is currently protected by locals from the Manbij Military Council of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Despite some early reports in December claiming they entered Manbij, the Syrian Arab Army has yet to enter the city.
The primary purpose of the Syrian Arab Army’s presence around Manbij is to prevent the Turkish-backed rebels from taking the city.
Turkey had previously set its sights on Manbij in December, but they ultimately backed off following the U.S.’ continued presence inside the city.