Prior to the imminent military operation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had announced earlier on December 12 east of the Euphrates river in northern Syria, new military vehicle convoys have arrived to the southeastern Turkish provinces Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Mardin, and Kilis, have borderline with Syria.
Meanwhile, strict security measures were undertaken during the passage of the convoys.
Military vehicles headed for south east Turkey
Various convoys, formed by military vehicles in order to reinforce the brigades stationed along the Syrian border, has arrived to different southeastern Turkish provinces; Mardin, Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, and Kilis.
The military personnel and vehicles sent by different regiments of Turkish Army and formed by military vehicles loaded with ammunition, generators deployed to southern border of Turkey.
A wide range of security measures were made during the passage of the convoy.
Military deployment, which was performed under tight security settings, was sent to support the military regiment stationed inside Syria.
In his announcement President Erdoğan said that “Turkey will start the operation in east of the Euphrates in a few days to save it from the separatist terrorist organisation.”
Referring to the YPG, Kurdish armed group in Syria, Erdoğan said “Turkey’s target is never the U.S. soldiers, but rather the members of the terror group.”
Turkey considers the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK, which has been waging insurgency for decades in Turkey, is listed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union.
Meanwhile, Turkey is also skeptical about a U.S. plan to train around 4o thousand locals in northeastern Syria.
On the other hand the Pentagon had announced on December 11 that American observation centres in northern Syria, meant to prevent altercations between the Turkish army and U.S.-supported YPG, have been established, despite Ankara’s request to scrap the move.
The Turkish army, since 2016, has already launched two military operations in Syria, the last of which saw Ankara-backed Syrian rebels take the border city of Afrin from the YPG in March.