A predominantly Arab faction of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDG) said Thursday that it has started a ground operation to cross into the west of the Euphrates River, a move strongly opposed by Turkey.
The Revolutionary Army group said via Twitter that it had started a ground operation to take control of Manbij town from Daesh.
SDG is led by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the PKK’s arm in Syria.
Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of America’s military intervention against Daesh, said Wednesday that SDG had not crossed into the west of the Euphrates.
On Dec. 27, the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the US-led international coalition, took control of Tishrin Dam from Daesh.
During the last week, SDG forces have pushed hard to advance toward Daesh-controlled Jarablus, west of the Euphrates.
In January 2015, PYD forces took control of Kobani. In May, they took control of Tal Abyad and managed to unite the al-Hasakah and Kobani cantons.
PYD later said its next goal was to advance toward Jarablus city and Azaz district, west of the Euphrates and to unite Kobani with the town of Afrin.
Turkish authorities have repeatedly said they will not allow the PYD to cross the Euphrates River.
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