Turkish generals removed from command opposed operation in Manbij: columnist

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Armoured vehicles of Turkish Armed Forces patrolling in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on June 22, 2018. AFP PHOTO

A columnist on Wednesday claimed that two Turkish generals who were removed from command in Syria were opposed to a military offensive east of the Euphrates River targeting Kurdish militia.

Turkey has been preparing a military operation in the Kurdish-held Syrian city of Manbij.

In March the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army captured Afrin, which was held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Second Army Commander Lt. Gen. İsmail Metin Temel and the Fourth Commando Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Mustafa Barut were reassigned by a presidential decree on Dec. 31.

Based on his military sources, Sözcü columnist Deniz Zeyrek reported that the generals said the threat was greater than the previous military operations and that international support for a military offensive in Manbij had not been secured.

Zeyrek also wrote that the generals objected to having to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because of the United States.

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