Pentagon: US soldiers in Manbij, no YPG

A convoy of US forces armoured vehicles drives near the Northern Syrian city of Manbij, on March 5, 2017. © Delil Souleiman / AFP

Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis has said that US soldiers are positioned in and around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, adding that the US army is taking on a new role in the country.

In a written statement released today by the Pentagon Davis said that Manbij was under the control of the Manbij Military Council which is a majority Arab organisation. US soldiers’ presence in the town and the surrounding areas was to prevent needless conflict, the statement read.

The Pentagon spokesman also said that their presence should reassure Turkey that there was no Islamic State (IS) presence in Manbij and that all forces should concentrate their efforts in the fight against IS, adding that “there is not a need for others to advance on it in attempts to ‘liberate’ it.”

Turkey has maintained that Kurdish fighters from the YPG are positioned in Manbij and that it will target the city as long as they are there.

The statement comes after reports in the Turkish media today that four Turkish soldiers in al-Bab had been wounded in a mortar attack by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the town of Manbij.