Turkey Challenges US SDF Training Plan, Forces Amass at Border with Syria

تم نشره في Tue 16 January / Jan 2018. 01:00 AM
  • Turkish tanks in Syrian territory - (Archives)

CAPITALS —AlGhad— Turkish forces have amassed at the border with Syria as reinforcements are in route in preparation for the Afrin City operation to attack the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) grouping in the western Aleppo outskirt.

Turkish and international news outlets have confirmed that up to 20 Turkish military units have arrived at the borderline.

US plans, Turkish News Agency Anadolu said, are to train a border control force led mainly by SDF forces.

Key powers involved in Syria's civil war have criticised US plans to help an allied Kurdish-led militia set up a 30,000-strong "border security force", according to the BBC.

Turkey's president vowed to "suffocate" efforts to begin training members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and create what he called a "terror army".

Ankara considers Kurds fighting for the SDF to be part of a terrorist group.

Syria's government decried the "blatant attack" on its sovereignty, and Russia warned it could lead to partition.

With the help of air strikes from a US-led coalition, the SDF has captured tens of thousands of square kilometres of territory from ISIS militants.

In October, the alliance took full control of the northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the "caliphate" declared by the jihadist group in 2014. Since then, SDF fighters have been advancing south-eastwards along the Euphrates river valley.