'ISIS emirs defeated in Manbij crossing into Turkey through Jarablus'
Suwar Mınbic Commander Mıstefa Mınbiç told that ISIS emirs defeated in Manbij are crossing firstly into Jarablus and then Turkey with their families. Their crossing is mediated by the Turkish military and intelligence MIT.
Manbij Military Council member and Suwar Mınbic Commander Mıstefa Mınbiç told that ISIS emirs defeated in Manbij are crossing firstly into Jarablus and then Turkey with their families. Their crossing is mediated by the Turkish military and intelligence MIT.
Mıstefa Mınbiç spoke to ANF regarding the background and current situation of the Manbij operation, as well as their goals and expectations for the future.
'WE CAME TOGETHER TO NOT LEAVE OUR PEOPLE TO THE ISIS'
Under which circumstances did the Manbij Military Council emerge?
Peoples of Syria found themselves in a civil war after the popular uprisings of 2011 went under the control of regional and international powers within a short time. The civil war also brought along various gang groups such as ISIS, Al-Nusra, Ahrar Al-Sham, Jaysh Al-Islam and Sultan Murat Brigade. These gang groups later occupied many cities and towns across Syria and tried to found a state of their own. Manbij was one of these areas occupied by the gang groups. After the beginning of the civil war in Syria, Manbij went under the occupation of firstly Free Syrian Army, then gang groups like Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham. As of 2014, Manbij was occupied by the ISIS gangs despite the people of Manbij wanting neither the Baath regime nor gang groups such as ISIS, Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham. In the face of such an equation, the peoples of Syria and Manbij remained without an alternative. Manbij Military Council came into being under very these circumstances.
As the forces forming the Manbij Military Council, we came together many times to not leave our people without an alternative and not to leave them to the mercy of gang groups like ISIS. After a series of meetings, we decided to unite under the name of Manbij Military Council and declared its establishment officially on April 2, 2016.
'FLEEING EMIRS CROSS INTO TURKEY THROUGH JARABLUS'
What is the latest situation in Manbij?
As is known already, peoples living in and around Manbij were often calling upon the constituents of the Manbij Military Council to clear their land of ISIS gangs and end the gangs' occupation in the city. As Manbij Military Council, we started an operation to liberate Manbij on June 1, 2016. This military campaign made an overwhelming impression in the regional and international arena.
As Manbij Military Council, we took control of the Raqqa-Manbij, Jarablus-Manbij and finally Al Bab-Manbij roads and ended the gangs' occupation in these areas. Manbij is entirely surrounded by our forces at the moment.
As much as we have been able to observe and according to the reports we receive, ISIS emirs are fleeing the city with their wives and children and go to Jarablus, through which route they later cross into Turkey with the assistance of the Turkish army and intelligence MIT.
'WE GIVE PRIORITY TO ENSURING THE CIVILIANS' SECURITY OF LIFE'
There is a subject everyone is curious about for the past 2 days; have fighters of the Manbij Military Council entered the city center? What is the current situation in and around Manbij at the moment?
What I will say in this regard will not be any different from the press statement we as Manbij Military Council made on the ongoing operation yesterday. We have liberated all the villages in the eastern front of Manbij and surrounded the city. We have given utmost attention to not harming the civilians since the very beginning of the military campaign on June 1.
It is our priority to ensure the civilians' security of life. We have been advancing slowly and carefully for the security of the civilians in Manbij city center. As Manbij Military Council, we asked the civilians to stay away from ISIS positions and headquarters and be careful until all ISIS gangs are cleared from the city center.
At the moment, our forces have advanced up to a distance capable of targeting the gangs in Manbij center.
What is the situation of the civilians in and around Manbij?
As I have just said, we give utmost priority to ensuring the civilians' security of life and we are advancing very carefully to not make them suffer any harm.
In the villages around Manbij that we have liberated so far, we saved numerous civilians from the siege of ISIS gangs and transferred them to safe areas under our control.
A committee and assembly affiliated to the Council, which have been established for extraordinary situations, are meeting the basic food and medical needs of the civilians in these areas. Our forces have so far cleared dozens of villages of the mines and explosives laid by the ISIS gangs, and ensured the necessary conditions in order for local residents to be able to turn back home safely.
'OUR MILITARY CAMPAIGN WILL CONTINUE UNTIL VICTORY AND FREEDOM'
How will this military campaign continue in the coming process?
As Manbij Military Council, we will continue avoiding every kind of act and approach that will endanger the civilians' security of life.
Manbij Military Council will keep the operation going at full force and liberate the Manbij city and surroundings from ISIS gangs. By ensuring the safety of our people, we will continue with the liberation operation until victory and freedom.
I would once again like to call upon our people to stay away from the areas and headquarters where ISIS gangs are deployed, to assist and support our forces and to act with sensibility until the entire city of Manbij is cleared of gangs.
This is the only way to founding a democratic Syria on the basis of justice and equality, and liberating the peoples of Syria.