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Syrian army gains full control of Manbij — Russian Defense Ministry

Manbij is located some 85 kilometers east of Aleppo

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The Syrian army has established full control over the city of Manbij and nearby settlements, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Tuesday.

"The Syrian government army has established full control over the city of Manbij and nearby inhabited communities," the ministry said.

According to the Defense Ministry, Russian military police continue to patrol the northwestern borders of Manbij District along the line of engagement of the Syrian and Turkish armed forces. "Cooperation with the Turkish side has been arranged," the ministry added.

Manbij located some 85 kilometers east of Aleppo was liberated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in August 2016. It was earlier an outpost for terrorists from the Islamic State group (outlawed in Russia).

On October 9, Ankara announced the launch of a new military campaign in northern Syria dubbed Operation Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on the positions of Kurdish units. Its objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where Syrian refugees could return from Turkey, the Erdogan regime believes. Syria’s SANA news agency branded the operation as an act of aggression, while the global community condemned Ankara’s actions.

On Sunday evening, SANA news agency reported that Damascus had deployed troops to northern Syria to counter the Turkish army.

US troops abandon two of their Syrian bases

The Russian Defense Ministry also said that US troops had abandoned two of their bases in Syria and left in the direction of the Iraqi border.

"Servicemen of the US Armed Forces have abandoned their bases in the area of Dadat, a settlement located to the northwest of Manbij, and Umm Miyal, leaving for the border between Syria and Iraq. Currently, Dadat and Umm Miyal are held by the Syrian government forces," the statement informs.

Earlier, the Newsweek magazine informed, citing a senior Pentagon official, that Washington had agreed to hand over control of the Syrian city of Manbij, located in the north of the Aleppo province, to Moscow. The article claimed that the US had begun to withdraw its troops from the city, planning to help Russia establish its presence there amid Turkey’s attempts to defeat the Kurdish-led and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which currently control Manbij.