Ahmed al-Khadr, a member of Manbij’s internal security, was guarding the rowdy fans of the Al-Ittihad soccer team celebrating their victory over their local rival club, Al-Sharif. He was dismissive of Erdogan, saying he’d made no moves despite all his threats.

“Where was he when Daesh was here,” al-Khadr said, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “Why didn’t he enter Manbij then? Why didn’t he want it?”