Pentagon Spokesperson Colonel Robert Manning has asserted that Turkey’s offensive into Afrin has led to a pause of some operations against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Colonel Manning told reporters that the pause meant that some ground operations by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed umbrella group dominated by the YPG, had been temporarily put on hold.
Manning also added that the SDF still has the control over the lands it captured from ISIS and the US-led coalition forces continue their airstrikes.
Manning referring to YPG's Cemil Mazlum as "General Mazlum" was denounced by Turkey. Manning noted that that they will continue to support Cemil Mazlum and military councils.
“Hundreds of militants left the operation”
Another Pentagon Spokesperson Adrian Rankine-Galloway said that the SDF militants left the operations against ISIS and went on:
“Some fighters operating within the SDF have decided to leave operations in the middle Euphrates river valley to fight elsewhere, possibly in Afrin,” Galloway said.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said hundreds of SDF fighters had left the middle Euphrates river valley in the past two weeks.
Last week, U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, the head of US Central Command, said Turkish activity in Afrin was distracting from the fight against ISIS.
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Feb. 24 demanding a full month-long ceasefire across Syria excepting only groups that it had designated as terrorists.
Turkey has said the ceasefire resolution does not apply to the YPG and has rejected Western calls for it to implement the truce. (PT/TK)
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