Turkish forces are preparing for an ‘upcoming’ ground operation in Syria

Turkish forces are preparing for an ‘upcoming’ ground operation in Syria

Turkish officials said it would take the army just days to be ready for a ground incursion in northern Syria, while Russia and America have expressed concern over a possible attack.

This comes at a time when Turkish forces are bombing armed Kurdish groups across the border.

Howitzers fired daily from Turkey have been bombing targets of the Kurdish People’s Defense Units for the past week, and warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes.

The escalation follows a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul two weeks ago, which Ankara blamed on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The Kurdish group has denied responsibility for the attack and at times has responded to cross-border attacks with mortar shells.

“Turkish armed forces need only a few days to be almost fully operational,” a senior official said, adding that Turkey’s armed Syrian opposition was preparing for such an operation days after the November 13 bombing of Istanbul have prepared.

“It won’t be long before the process begins,” he said. It just depends on the President (Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan) who gives the order.”

Turkey has previously conducted military incursions in Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it considers an offshoot of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), classified as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The PKK also denied carrying out the attack in Istanbul, which killed six people in a crowded pedestrian street.

Erdogan said Turkey will launch a ground operation to secure its southern border in due course.

Another Turkish official, who also asked not to be named, told Reuters: “All preparations have been completed. Now the matter awaits political decision.”

Erdogan announced in May that Turkey would soon launch a military operation against the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Syria, but such an operation did not materialize at the time.

The first Turkish official said that a ground operation targeting Manbij, Ain al-Arab and Tal Rifaat areas had become inevitable to connect the areas that came under the control of Turkey and its Syrian allies , which were seized during the 2016 The official added that Ankara has contacted Moscow and Washington regarding its military activities.

The United States has told Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), that it has grave concerns that the military escalation will undermine the goal of fighting the extremist organization “ISIS” in Syria.

Russia urged Turkey to refrain from a full-scale ground offensive. Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the country’s 11-year war, while Turkey supports the rebels fighting to overthrow him. Yesterday, the Defense Ministry said that the Turkish army managed to “neutralize” 14 fighters from the Kurdish People’s Defense Units who were preparing to launch attacks in areas of Syria under Turkish control. The Ministry usually uses this term to refer to the dead.

The ministry said on Saturday that three Turkish soldiers had been killed in northern Iraq. The army has been conducting an operation there against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) since April.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who traveled to the border area with Iraq, reportedly told military commanders on Sunday that Turkey would “complete” the mission.

To press

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