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In field - Statement

Assad Regime’s Video Statement on Manbij Dates Back to 2018

  Monday 14th October 2019

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Tweeters have reported that the Assad regime forces intend to enter the Syrian cities of Manbij and Ayn al-Arab/Kobani to fight the Turkish-backed opposition forces and send them back to where they came from.

These tweeters attached to their posts a video of a military statement by Assad regime spokesperson Ali Mayhoub, in which he says the regime forces entered the city of Manbij and raised the flag of the regime there.

The tweets coincided with an announcement by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that an agreement was reached between SDF and the Assad regime that the regime will deploy its forces along the Syria-Turkish border to support SDF in its fight against the Turkish forces and opposition factions. The regime’s SANA news agency reported that units of its troops of the regime have headed to confront the Turkish forces.

The SDF-affiliated Manbij Military Council controls Manbij, while the SDF controls the city of Ayn al-Arab/Kobani in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

Verify-St platform inspected the video statement and found that it dates back to January 2018.

At the time, the Assad regime announced entering Manbij following a request by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Its forces, however, entered limited areas in the countryside of Menbij including the al-Arima district.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described announcing entering Manbij by the regime forces as “a psychological operation.”

In May 2018, the U.S. and Turkey announced reaching a roadmap on Manbij, which provides for the removal of the SDF from the city and handing it over to a civil administration.