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Turkish military sends more munitions to Syrian border over alleged threats from YPG

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Turkish army dispatches military hardware to the southern province of Kilis on August 4, 2017 to be positioned across from the Kurdish-controlled Syrian region of Afrin. (Photo by Anadolu news agency)

The Turkish military has reinforced its presence in the other side of the barbed wire border with Syria amid perceived threats from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a major component of the US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Turkey deployed a six-vehicle convoy that included tanks and howitzers to the southern province of Kilis to be positioned across from the Kurdish-controlled Syrian region of Afrin.

Turkey has been vehemently opposed to the YPG’s presence in northern Syria.

Ankara views the People's Protection Units as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

On June 6, the SDF said it had launched an operation aimed at pushing the Daesh terrorist group out of Raqqah.

The city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by the Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the Takfiris’ administrative and control tasks the following year. 

Turkish officials have frequently voiced strong opposition to the involvement of the Kurdish People's Protection Units in the US-led offensive to retake Raqqah.

Speaking to reporters while on a visit to Montenegro on May 10, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Washington knows Ankara’s position on the YPG very well so it should not take wrong steps in Syria.

The top Turkish diplomat added that the United States needed to distinguish between the YPG and their Arab allies in the SDF, and that the Arabs should be the ones to enter Raqqah.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also set out Turkey's objections at a White House meeting with his counterpart Donald Trump in mid-May.

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