June 23, 2017

Donald Trump sends military to Syria-Turkey border

05 May 2017, 12:15 | Clarence Schmidt

A PKK fighter at a training base in northern Iraq

A PKK fighter at a training base in northern Iraq

Moreover, a Syrian YPG commander on Friday told Reuters that us forces would soon be monitoring the situation along the Syria-Turkey border.

Friday's clashes came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the YPG that Turkey would fire back against any assault and thwart the creation of any Kurdish state in northern Syria.

On Friday, a commander of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) told Reuters he expected American troops to arrive on the border of the autonomous region to protect its inhabitants from shelling, and video footage circulating online shows armoured vehicles with American flags ranged along the Turkish border.

Turkey conducted airstrikes in both northern Syria and northern Iraq this week, targeting Kurdish militias. Turkey claimed it targeted "terror hubs" infiltrated by members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey considers to be a terrorist group.

Erdogan on Saturday repeated his call to the cease its support of Syria's Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey views as a prescribed terror organisation.

Videos emerged on Friday showing armored vehicles flying U.S. flags in a convoy with vehicles flying People's Protection Units (YPG) banners, claiming to be near the town of Darbasiyah in northeast Syria near the Turkish border. He said that the current USA deployment was temporary but did not rule out a possibility of it becoming permanent.

Erdogan claims to have been "seriously saddened" by footage and images of US military vehicles patrolling the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, ostensibly to act as a "buffer" between Turkey and the YPG. "You can not play with this nation", Erdogan said.

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Erdogan hinted his country is also ready to repeat its attacks in Sinjar, Iraq, to prevent it from turning into a base for the Kurdish militia.

Deputy Spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State, Mark Toner, during a regular briefing on April 25 said that the U.S. expresses serious concern over Turkey's aggression in Syria and Iraq.

Ankara views the group as terrorists, but Washington believes are the most effective fighting force againstISIS. The YPG/YPJ, the militia of the Syrian Kurdish People's Democratic Union (PYD), are allies of both the United States and the PKK, aiding American airstrikes with ground intelligence on the Islamic State while also collaborating with PKK fighters against ISIS. Anger at Barack Obama's policy of using the Kurds as US proxies had given way to hope that the new president would either send USA forces to do the job, or switch loyalties to localised Arab units, which Turkey is trying to raise.

The targets hit by the Turkish Air Force in Syria also include local television and a YPG broadcasting media station.

Analysts say the dispute will be the number one issue when Erdogan meets Trump for the first time as president on May 16 in the United States.

"We hope that this military mobilisation is not meant to provoke our forces or for another goal linked to entering Syrian territories. We don't want any military confrontation between us since our priority is to fight Daesh in Raqqa and Tabqa", Khalil told The Associated Press in a series of text messages, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

Othman further said that three U.S. army units will be deployed on the border area to prevent further attacks.

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