Al-Bennawi: Turkey did not fulfill its promises in Incirlik agreement towards Manbij

The general commander's deputy of Manbij Military Council (MMC) Ibrahim al-Bennawi said that the Turkish side violated the agreement held between them at Incirlik base under the auspices of the International Coalition. He pointed out that MMC remained committing to the items of that agreement.


After the liberation of Tishreen Dam area from IS mercenary by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the appeals of Manbij clans' sheikhs and its people increased demanding the liberation of their city because of the sensitivity of the region, the importance of its strategic site and the opposition of the Turkish occupation to launch the military operation that would be launched to liberate Manbij city, especially after the formation of MMC that aims at liberating the city in cooperation with SDF and the direct support of the International Coalition.

After MMC was established and with the support of the International Coalition against IS, the plans and stages of preparing for the battle to liberate Manbij city began. The first of these stages was to communicate with the Turkish side that opposed the process of liberating the city which came under the auspices of the International Coalition within several visits and meetings held at Incirlik base in Turkey due to the Turkish side's objection to the process that would be launched to liberate the city using several pretexts to protect its IS mercenaries in the city.

In order to remove all doubts between the two parties about the forces involved in the operation of liberating the city, to be a proof for the Turkish side that whoever would participate in the operation of liberating the city were its people and to overcome the Turkish objection to the operation that would launch, a delegation of MMC including the martyr Faisal Abo Leyla, the martyr Adnan Abo Amjad, Abo Jassem al-Baggari and Ibrahim al-Bennawi headed towards the American base in Hewlêr city of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and then the delegation accompanied by the US presidential envoy in the International Coalition against IS Brett McCork  headed towards Incirlik Turkish base in Adana to meet the Turkish side.

The meeting, which was coordinated by the International Coalition and the Turkish Army at the Turkish Incirlik base, included approximately 65 officers of the International Coalition, about 30 officers of the Turkish army in addition to MMC's delegation, and it began by introducing each individual to himself and his military rank. After the Turkish army and its officials made sure that whoever would participate in the campaign were the people of the city, they began to consider the objectives of the military campaign that would be launched by MMC to liberate Manbij city.

The meeting, which was held between officers of the International Coalition and the Turkish army and officials of the Turkish government and MMC, came out with a number of decisions agreed on by all the involved parties. The items agreed upon included relying on the liberation of Manbij city and its countryside by MMC in cooperation with SDF, promising the Turkish side to provide the logistical and military support to the liberating forces, handing over the city's administration to a civil council, administration and security forces to maintain the security and stability of the city, as well as the return of the cooperating forces with MMC in the liberation to their points in north Syria.

In this context, the deputy of the general commander of Manbij Military Council Ibrahim al-Bennawi said, "What have been agreed upon in Incirlik were implemented by MMC, and we committed to the terms of the agreement to liberate the city and hand it over to internal security forces, a civil administration to manage it, and the return of SDF to their bases in north Syria, but whoever did not keep their promises were the Turkish government and its army which violated the item of providing logistical and military support to the forces as was agreed on, on the contrary, it violated the agreement and called the forces that liberated the city from terrorism and maintained it to be terrorists."

Al-Bennawi made clear that the military forces that cooperated during the military operation, especially SDF in the liberation of the city left the city and returned to their bases in north Syria after these sides contributed to providing the military consultation and training their forces until they reached the necessary expertise.

Al-Bennawi said, "The city is currently run by a civil administration formed of the people of the area, the city's administrative borders are protected by MMC, and the city's security and stability are internally maintained by security forces formed under the supervision and care of the International Coalition directly, and include the Internal Security Forces and young men and women from Manbij city."

Al-Bennawi said, "We are surprised that the Turkish government describes our forces as terrorists although we started this military campaign with the agreement with the Turkish side and the International Coalition, and the terms of our agreement were clear. What is happening today on the ground was agreed on internationally and regionally, and the pretexts invoked by Turkey today are flimsy pretexts and arguments used by the Turkish side after violating the covenants and conventions it held in Incirlik meeting."



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