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Euphrates Shield Operation frozen due to US-Russian discords with Turkey: commander

Local | 2017-03-23 22:48:41
Euphrates Shield Operation frozen due to US-Russian discords with Turkey: commander
   Colonel Ahmed Othman, commander of Sultan Murad Division
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Senior rebel commander who is attending the fifth round of Geneva peace talks said the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield Operation has been halted due to discords with Russia and U.S. over the Kurdish file.

Colonel Ahmed Othman, commander of Sultan Murad Division said the Free Syrian Army was planning to free Manbij town after taking of al-Bab town from ISIS but the Russian and the American interest were in the Kurdish side where the military and logistic support has been increased to the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The unspoken alliance against Turkey was led By the U.S. that deployed at 400 special forces in Manbij. Even the Kurdish YPG militia said Manbij will not fall. "We have promised by Washington."

The Islamic State has also colluded with the Syrian regime and Kurdish militias to undermine Euphrates Shield operation that began in August 2016.

Number of FSA commander have been invited to Geneva in order to step up peacemaking efforts, including the rebel faction which backed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Bashar al-Assad's government, which is backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias, is also attending the Geneva talks. Both sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.

"We hope to see some serious partner on the other side of the table," Salem al-Muslet, spokesman for the opposition's High Negotiating Committee (HNC), said in Geneva.
Meanwhile, the clashes between the regime army and rebels have continued in the capital Damascus and north of Hama on Thursday after the rebels' biggest offensive for months, underscoring the bleak prospects for peace talks which resume later in the day.

The offensive seems unlikely to reverse 18 months of steady military gains by the government, culminating in December's capture of the rebel enclave in Aleppo, but it has shown the army's difficulty in defending many fronts simultaneously.
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