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NATO Catfight Ends in Humiliation: Russia Delivers Manbij to Assad Amid US-Turkey Infighting

An interesting and extremely embarrassing plot twist in northern Syria

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

It looks like Moscow just outfoxed Washington and Ankara. Again.

While the two NATO "allies" were busy squabbling over the fate of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, Moscow made its move:

<figcaption>While NATO wasn't looking...</figcaption>
While NATO wasn't looking...


This is a developing story. But at least for now, it seems that Russia has delivered the city to Assad:


Some more details via the Twitter-verse:



We're almost sure this isn't the end of this particular power struggle in northern Syria, but for the time being, it certainly seems that Russia has made a real mess of Washington's (and Ankara's) plans for the region:

Ankara said this week that the next target of Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces was SDF-held Manbij. Then-President Barack Obama had promised Turkey that [Washington-backed] YPG components of the SDF would leave the town as soon as they are done with the cleansing of the town out of booby traps and Daesh presence. The Turkish government sees Manbij as a natural target to seize in order to protect its borders against terror group PKK's Syrian armed wing the YPG.

Pentagon was worried about a Turkish offensive on the city because it would undermine the ongoing SDF offensive against Raqqa, since the YPG forces would move back to Manbij to defend the city

And according to Washington, they're not in on this deal:

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said they observed Syrian regime and Russia sponsored humanitarian convoys along with armoured vehicles moving into the city of Manbij. "The Russian government informed us of [the transit] through our deconfliction channel. [But] we aren't aware of any agreement and we are not part of it," he said.

Welcome back to Syria, Manbij.

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