Erdogan: Turkey 'Ready' to Invade Kurdish Northern Syria

Erdogan: Turkey 'Ready' to Invade Kurdish Northern Syria

Erdogan: Turkey 'Ready' to Invade Kurdish Northern Syria

US support for the Kurdish-led forces has resulted in increased tension between Washington and Ankara.

Meanwhile, west of the Euphrates River, joint USA and Turkish forces were expected to begin joint patrols on Thursday as part of a road map for easing tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Taspinar sees Ankara with the upper hand over Washington regarding the situation in northern Syria, but overall with the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and open communication in the investigation of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the two countries are diplomatically improving. "We can come suddenly any night", he said.

ISIS has been driven to just a few towns in the area and the United States and its coalition allies conducted 184 air and artillery strikes last week targeting the terror group's last remaining territory, striking command and control centers, weapons caches and vehicles. There are about 2,000 US Special Forces in Syria advising the SDF, as well as several hundred French troops.

Russian state-affiliated news agency Sputnik quoted Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson as saying that the usa was "in touch" with both Turkey and the SDF to "de-escalate the situation" on Tuesday. Turkey, however, views all Kurdish groups as equally as culpable as the PKK. "Unilateral military strikes into north-west Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us", deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said.

Nicholas A. Heras, a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told Kurdistan 24 Turkey's attack on Tal Abyad and Kobani was "a message to the United States that it has to remove the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] from all of Turkey's border region, even east of the Euphrates".

According to Turkish state news Anadolu Agency, at least four YPG fighters were killed and another six injured during the day's clashes.

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Last week, IS jihadists staged a counterattack following a weeks-long SDF offensive in the countryside around Hajin. In an effort to alleviate the situation, the US agreed to jointly control Manbij with Turkish forces, and Kurdish forces agreed to withdraw.

The strategic town lies west of the Euphrates and was taken by SDF forces from the Islamic State in 2016.

"The joint patrols of Turkish and USA troops - on which we have made plans and completed training and which we said would start - began at 3:53 p.m. local time [1353GMT]", Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said at the Turkish Parliament. It also envisions Kurdish YPG forces withdrawing from the town to the east of the Euphrates.

Turkish flags are seen atop military vehicles on the outskirts of Manbij, Syria, Nov. 1, 2018.

The SDF accused Turkey of supporting the ISIS militants in their advances, saying it was responsible for "temporarily stopping the battle to fight terrorism carried out by our forces against the last holdout of the terrorist group". However, according to the SDF spokesperson, "there is a possibility" that a potential agreement could involve the distribution of both USA and Turkish troops along the border.

The YPG "should know it will be buried in the trenches it has dug", Akar said.

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