Turkish-backed Syrian forces expect military operation soon | Syria’s War News

Azaz, Syria – Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces have stated their forces are prepared for battle, and count on a new Turkish military operation in Syria to start out quickly.

Items of the Syrian Nationwide Military (SNA) paraded on Thursday by the streets of Azaz, a city in northern Aleppo province, in an effort to point out their preparedness for the operation that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened in current weeks towards the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Autos drove 1000’s of armed fighters by Azaz and several other areas close to the entrance strains between areas managed by Turkey and the SDF in Tal Rifaat.

“The aim is to be on standby for the battle and present our energy,” stated Common Abdul Salam Hamidi, a commander within the SNA’s Third Corps, whose forces had been taking part within the parade.

Erdogan has acknowledged that Tal Rifaat, which lies in a pocket of SDF-controlled territory surrounded by Turkish and Syrian government-controlled territory, is a goal for the operation, together with Manbij, which lies to the east.

Turkey goals to power SDF fighters out of areas on the Turkey-Syria border that Ankara needs to manage as a part of a 30-kilometre “secure zone”, the place Syrian refugees might be relocated, amid controversy in Turkey over the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees within the nation.

Turkey has taken management of huge stretches of territory alongside the border after combating ISIL (ISIS) and the SDF in three main operations since 2016.

Nevertheless, SDF-controlled territory reminiscent of Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Kobane stay out of Ankara’s attain.

Four fighters in camouflage uniforms and face masks on stand with their guns in front of vehicles
SNA commanders say a lot of their fighters are initially from Tal Rifaat and Manbij, areas that President Erdogan has stated are targets for a army operation [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]


The United Nations accused Turkey and its Syrian allies of human rights violations throughout the latest 2019 operation, which focused Afrin, in northern Aleppo province.

On the time, Turkey rejected the accusations, and referred to as them “unfounded allegations”.

America-backed SDF is essentially made up of the YPG, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Staff’ Get together (PKK), which Turkey, the European Union and the US have designated as a “terrorist” organisation.

“Preparations for this battle have been ongoing for a very long time, and now we have not stopped coaching our models,” stated Hamidi. “The coaching concerned making certain that the fighters had been prepared for battle.”

Though shelling has been persevering with between the SNA and the SDF, it’s unclear when Turkey will launch the brand new operation, if it chooses to take action.

Russia, the US, and the Syrian authorities have all publicly voiced their opposition to any new army operation, and the SDF has stated that it’ll turn to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if Turkey assaults.

A spokesman for the SNA additionally stated that Russia had been reinforcing positions close to Tal Rifaat, Manbij and the southern outskirts of Kobane.

However, after the army parade in Azaz, the SNA continues to be adamant that the combat will occur.

“The preliminary targets are to take management of Tal Rifaat and Manbij, in addition to their surrounding areas, to push out the SDF, and permit for residents who had beforehand been pressured out to return,” Abu Ali Atono, a commander within the SNA, instructed Al Jazeera.

Many residents of Tal Rifaat, which has a blended Arab and Kurdish inhabitants, fled the city when it was taken by the SDF in 2016, after Russian air assaults. A lot of the Arab residents haven’t returned.

“A lot of our fighters are from Tal Rifaat and Manbij,” stated Atono. “They think about the upcoming army operation an opportunity to liberate their cities and return residence.”

Turkey says Syria military operation to target Tal Rifaat, Manbij | Turkey-Syria Border News

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated Turkey will goal Kurdish armed teams in two northern Syrian cities in an upcoming military operation.

“We’re taking one other step in establishing a 30-kilometre safety zone alongside our southern border. We are going to clear up Tal Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists”, he instructed a gathering of his ruling social gathering in parliament.

Erdogan stated Turkish forces would then proceed, “step-by-step, into different areas”.

The 2 cities, mendacity west of the Euphrates River, are managed by the Syrian Kurdish armed group, the Folks’s Safety Items (YPG).

Ankara considers the YPG a “terrorist” group and says it’s linked to home armed fighters belonging to the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration (PKK), which Turkey has additionally designated as a “terrorist” organisation. The PKK has waged an armed rebellion towards Turkey since 1984, and tens of hundreds of individuals have died within the battle.

The Turkish authorities has accused the YPG of attacking Turkish safety forces in Syria.

“We are going to see who helps the reliable safety operations carried out by Turkey and who tries to oppose them,” stated Erdogan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Turkey towards a brand new navy operation and urged Ankara to stay to cease-fire traces established in 2019.

“It’s one thing that we’d oppose,” Blinken instructed a joint information convention with NATO Secretary-Basic Jens Stoltenberg.

“The priority that we have now is that any new offensive would undermine regional stability (and) present malign actors with alternatives to take advantage of instability,” Blinken stated.

Turkey has launched three navy operations into northern Syria since 2016, seizing areas alongside the border in what it says is a bid to safe its frontier from threats from ISIL (ISIS) and the YPG.

The YPG-linked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) warned {that a} navy operation by Ankara would undermine efforts to fight fighters from the ISIS (ISIL) armed group in northeastern Syria.

“The SDF has been anticipating a attainable battle for some time now,” stated Farhad Shami, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led power.

“Within the occasion of an assault, we are going to pause our battle towards the Islamic State group [ISIL] and begin navy measures towards the Turkish invasion,” he instructed the AFP information company.

Increasing ‘protected zone’

Erdogan stated over the weekend that Turkey wouldn’t anticipate permission from america earlier than launching such an operation.

Erdogan on Tuesday instructed Russian President Vladimir Putin {that a} 2019 settlement signed between the 2 international locations allowed for the creation of a safety zone alongside the Turkish-Syrian border.

“Its creation is crucial,” Erdogan stated.

He has additionally opposed the latest purposes of Finland and Sweden for NATO membership, over what Turkey considers their leniency towards Kurdish armed teams.

The president doubled down on his objections on Wednesday and stated Turkey wouldn’t change its stance on the Swedish and Finnish NATO utility with out seeing “binding paperwork” demonstrating a hardened method to these Ankara considers “terrorists”.

Each Manbij and Tal Rifaat host massive Kurdish populations and lie close to Turkey’s border with Syria.

Their seize would enable Erdogan to develop and deepen the so-called “protected zone” alongside the border the place Ankara hopes to resettle Syrian refugees.

However based on Rami Abdul Rahman, the pinnacle of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which screens violence in Syria, the Turkish operation may set off a brand new wave of displacements.

Greater than 100,000 individuals had been displaced from the city of Afrin alone throughout the 2018 Turkish operation, based on United Nations estimates. Most people went east to Tal Rifaat.