News   /   Turkey

Turkey moves military convoy close to Syria border

This picture taken around 5 kilometers west from the Turkish border city of Karkamis on August 25, 2016 shows Turkish army soldiers gathering next to tanks. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish military has relocated a convoy of armored vehicles and personnel carriers to a base near the border with Syria amid rising tensions with the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces in the far northeastern corner of Syria.

Video footage shot on Friday night showed a long line of trucks carrying military vehicles en route from the southern Turkish border town of Kilis to an unknown location in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.

Turkey’s private Ihlas news agency reported that the relocation came after Turkish officials stated that a phase of Turkey's cross-border operation in Syria had been completed.

The agency added that the force may be used against YPG, which Ankara views as the Syrian branch of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984, “ if need be.”

Turkey has stepped up its attacks against PKK positions in northern Iraq and YPG outposts in Syria over the past few weeks.

Earlier this week, Turkish fighter jets bombed Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq, drawing rebukes from the US State Department and the Pentagon.

The Turkish military said the April 25 attacks centered on Mount Sinjar in Iraq and Mount Karakoc in Syria.

The strike in Syria reportedly hit the area, where YPG headquarters are located, killing nearly 30 YPG fighters and officials.

An unnamed YPG commander said on Friday that US forces would begin monitoring the situation along the Syria-Turkey frontier following cross-border skirmishes between the Turkish military and Syrian Kurdish forces earlier this week.

Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) stand guard at the site of Turkish airstrikes near northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik, known as al-Malikiyah in Arabic, on April 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US administration is set to use YPG forces in a planned US-led offensive to retake Daesh’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqah. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear that he expects a turnaround from Washington on such a move.

On August 24, 2016, Turkish air force and special ground forces kicked off Operation Euphrates Shield inside Syria in a bid to support the so-called Free Syrian Army militants and rid the border area of Daesh terrorists in addition to fighters from the YPG and Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The offensive was launched in coordination with the US-led military coalition, which has purportedly been fighting Daesh extremists since 2014.

The incursion was the first major Turkish military intervention in Syria, which drew strong condemnation from the Damascus government for violating the Arab country's sovereignty.

Turkish officials announced the conclusion of Operation Euphrates Shield in March, but have said they would continue combating Daesh militants and Kurdish forces.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku