A boy carries a bag at a make-shift camp where displaced Syrians from Tal Rafaat and areas around Afrin are taking shelter near the village of Kharufiyah on the southern outskirts of Manbij on March 22, 2018. AFP / Delil SOULEIMAN
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In Syria's Kurdish-controlled Manbij, salesmen shout as customers bustle through the city's packed marketplace – an everyday scene that masks residents' deep fears of a Turkish attack. Despite the presence of U.S. troops nearby, Manbij could become the next target of a Turkey-led battle against Kurdish militia in Syria's north.Since Syria's war started in 2011, Manbij has exchanged hands several times.Dozens of American troops have since been stationed on the city's outskirts, with additional troops deployed there around a year ago.The U.S.-led coalition stayed out of the battle for Afrin, but its presence outside Manbij has raised the specter of a potential conflict between two NATO allies should Turkey attack the city.In Manbij's Martyrs Square hang portraits of SDF fighters – women and men – killed in the fight against Daesh.
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