willing, we will take Afrin. We will take Manbij,”
he said in videos posted on Turkish news websites,
referring to another Kurdish-held city in Syria.
a sword known locally as a zulfiqar above his head with
one hand and holding a megaphone in another, he added:
“We will also go to Mosul, and we will go to
Jerusalem!… God is Greatest!”
Turkish sultans controlled both the Iraqi city of Mosul
and the holy city of Jerusalem for long periods during
the Ottoman Empire."
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he told both U.S.
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir
Putin that “Turkey will not step back in
Syria,” vowing that the ongoing campaign in Afrin
will be expanded to other parts of the war-torn
country, including Manbij.
Turkish military, along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA),
launched “Operation Olive Branch” against the YPG in
Afrin on Jan. 20, and Erdoğan vowed that operations
“will not end in Afrin. Next are Idlib and
a northwestern Syrian town, is particularly important as
it is still under the control of the YPG alongside U.S.
troops. Turkey has long been urging the U.S. to let the
YPG pull back from Manbij to the east of Euphrates amid
threats that it will not hesitate to launch an attack on
YPG positions even if American troops are present.
withdrawal from Manbij: US
a senior U.S. official said the U.S. “has no
intention to leave Manbij,” despite Turkey’s words."