Turkish military convoy dispatched to Syrian border

  • Turkish military convoy dispatched to Syrian border

Turkish military convoy dispatched to Syrian border

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday threatened to attack the Kurdish militia-held town of Afrin in northern Syria "in the days ahead" to clear it of "terrorists".

The United States views the YPG as the most effective fighting force against ISIL. Turkish officials vowed similar action on several occasions past year. Turkey's National Security Council, which advises on military actions, is scheduled to meet on January 17.

Erdoğan said the Afrin operation would be an extension of Turkey's 2016 incursion into northern Syria, which aimed to combat Isis and stem the advance of US-backed Kurdish forces.

An earlier peacekeeping deployment in Idlib, to the south of Afrin, denied the Kurds access to the Mediterranean Sea - a prized target for a planned Kurdish corridor running all the way to northern Iraq.

"We expect from our allies that they behave in accordance with the spirit of our deep-rooted relationship during this process", Erdogan said, adding "despite everything" he hoped for cooperation to achieve "common interests" in the region.

The force will deploy along the border with Turkey to the north, the Iraqi border to the southeast and along the Euphrates River Valley, which broadly acts as the dividing line separating the US -backed SDF and Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russian Federation.

"It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted", he said, adding that Turkey "will continue its fight against any terrorist organisation regardless of its name and shape within and outside its borders".

She called Turkey's operation against Afrin a "violation" that "undermines global efforts to reach a political solution in Syria".

The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Turkey has been working closely with Russian Federation and Iran to end the almost seven-year Syrian conflict despite Moscow and Tehran supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supporting the anti-Assad opposition.

The Turkey-PKK conflict has killed an estimated 40,000 people since 1984, including more than 3,300 state security forces, militants and civilians since the resumption of hostilities in July 2015.