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Turkey deploys tanks to border after Erdogan vows to defeat Kurds

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)
A picture released by the Anadolu Agency showing part of a Turkish tank convoy being sent to the Syrian border in southern Hatay province on January 13, 2018

Turkey has dispatched a tank convoy to the Syrian border just hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will defeat Kurdish militants in the border region of Afrin.

On Saturday, a military source was reported by the Anadolu Agency as saying that the tanks were being sent to join Turkish border units in the region.

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces targeted several Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo.

Turkish artillery fired at least 36 times during the attacks in Afrin's Bosoufane, Cindirese, Deir Bellout and Rajo districts.   

Earlier, Erdogan announced that Turkey’s military operation in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib will crush Kurdish militants in Afrin.

"With the Euphrates Shield operation we cut the terror corridor right in the middle. We hit them one night suddenly. With the Idlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing," Erdogan said, referring to Afrin.

A member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fires a machine gun in the Syrian city of Raqqah's eastern al-Sinaa district, on June 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

In 2016, Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield military offensive, which spans Syria’s Afrin and Manbij regions, saying it sought to fight off the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. Later, however, Ankara was apparently using the drive to push against the Kurds.

The Turkish operation, however, comes without the Syrian government’s permission, prompting repeated calls by Damascus to stop the military intervention.

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