Turkey Strengthens Military Forces on Syrian Border as the US Gets Ready to Withdraw Their Forces

According to latest reports, on Sunday, Turkey started to bolster its stand on both sides of its border with Syria. However, Ankara and Washington conceded to regulate a US military pull out from Syria.

The elevated military activity came two days after Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey would be delaying a projected military action on Kurdish YPG rebel east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria after the U.S. decided to withdraw its forces.

He also stated that Turkey would take control of the battle against Islamic State militants.

The Turkish presidency stated Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call on Sunday acknowledged setting up a military and diplomatic strategy in order to avert an power vacuum that might develop with the withdrawal of the United States from the area.

Earlier in the day, footage revealed some Turkish convoys entering Syria via the Turkish border town of Karkamis, which is situated 35 km (22 miles) north of the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

Manbij has become a major turning point between Ankara and Washington. In June, the NATO allies made an agreement that would observe the YPG driven out from the town; however, Turkey has criticized that the planning has been deferred and stated that Turkish forces would be entering the town if the United States does not get rid of the Kurdish rebels.

Hundreds of vehicles were headed to the southern border province of Kilis after departing Hatay, another border province. The convoy comprised of tanks, firearms, machine guns and buses which carried commandos.

Part of the military equipment as well as personnel is to be stationed in posts along the border while some had entered Syria via the district of Elbeyli.

Turkey, with FSA’s support, completed two cross-border actions in northern Syria, touted as “Euphrates Shield” and “Olive Branch”. The actions were taken against the YPG and Islamic State.

The military actions were concentrated on areas to the west of the Euphrates and Turkey has not gone east of the river, in order to avert direct battle with U.S. forces.

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