Syrian Opposition Tasks Local Military Councils with Liberating Manbij, Tal Rifaat

Fighters of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition in a field in Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib countryside, April 2020 (Reuters)
Fighters of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition in a field in Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib countryside, April 2020 (Reuters)
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Syrian Opposition Tasks Local Military Councils with Liberating Manbij, Tal Rifaat

Fighters of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition in a field in Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib countryside, April 2020 (Reuters)
Fighters of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition in a field in Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib countryside, April 2020 (Reuters)

Opposition factions affiliated with the Ankara-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) have assigned recently formed military councils in the Aleppo countryside cities of Tel Rifaat and Manbij to lead military operations, in cooperation with Turkish forces, to liberate the two cities from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“In line with important military developments in northern Aleppo and preparations for the new military operation by SNA factions and Turkish forces to liberate Tal Rifaat and Manbij from the (SDF), the task of commanding military operations was entrusted to the recently formed military councils in these two cities,” said Adnan Abu Faisal, the leader of Manbij’s military council.

According to Faisal, the military councils of Manbij and Tal Rifaat were given the task for their knowledge of the nature of the region.

“The main objective is to lead the battle to liberate Tal Rifaat and Manbij from SDF forces in cooperation with ally Turkish forces,” said Faisal, adding that opposition forces will also seek protecting the two cities and their civilians from any sabotage operations or violations that may be carried out by groups or sabotage cells affiliated with unknown parties.

Moreover, opposition forces will direct engineering teams to remove the remnants of war.

Faisal pointed out that the population of Manbij is about 120,000 people, “most of whom are Arabs.”

“All SNA factions have announced during the last hours their combat readiness, and they are waiting for the zero hour to launch the military operation, jointly with the Turkish forces, against the SDF,” said an opposition leader.

Planned military operations against the SDF will take place in Manbij, Tal Rifaat and neighboring villages, the leader revealed.

Local activists reported that “hundreds of civilians in the village of Awn al-Dadat in the northern countryside of Manbij, protested against the SDF.”

Protesters denounced SDF practices and its continued planting of landmines in civilian areas.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.