U.S. troops deploy around Manbij in Syria in an attempt to keep tensions between Turkish and Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State at a minimum. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
United States military vehicles and troops patrolled near Manbij in Syria on Saturday (March 11) in an attempt to prevent tensions escalating between different forces taking on Islamic State. The U.S.-led coalition is currently backing a campaign by its Syrian militia allies to encircle and ultimately capture Raqqa, Islamic State's base of operations in Syria. This week, the U.S.-led coalition announced that around 400 additional U.S. forces had deployed to Syria to help with the Raqqa campaign and to prevent any clash between Turkey and Washington-allied Syrian militias that Ankara sees as a threat. The area around Manbij has been controlled since last year by the Manbij Military Council, a local militia that is a part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella organisation of armed groups of which the Kurdish YPG militia is also a part. Arab 24 television reported that the U.S. aimed to "prevent any clashes or skirmishes" between the Manbij Military Council and Turkey's "Euphrates Shield" operation, who view the rise of Kurdish power in northern Syria with alarm. Asked about a deployment of U.S. forces near the northern city of Manbij, Syrian President Assad said: "Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation ... are invaders."