People's Defenses Units (YPG) terrorists in northern Syria have reportedly geared up efforts to establish a regular army called "The North Army" with U.S. assistance.According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency (AA) from local sources, the U.S. military completed training of 400 YPG members, following an announcement from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Joseph Votel on Dec. 22, 2017, about forming border guard regiments. The drills were done at a camp in south Hasakah and near the Tishrin Dam in eastern Aleppo with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Defense and the CIA. Washington reneged on its promise to cease its support for the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed YPG militia after Daesh was defeat in Syria, and has substantially increased weaponry and technology support to the group.
Despite the PKK being listed as a terrorist group by the U.S., EU, and NATO, Washington supports the PYD and YPG as "the most effective partner against Daesh," overlooking their links to the PKK. The support has become a strong factor in the deterioration of ties between the two NATO allies, bringing relations to historic lows in recent years.According to the information from AA sources, the CIA and Pentagon have also been transferring high-technology transmitters and signal intelligence equipment. The U.S. military has given technical training on transferred devices. It is reported that some subordinate groups of the PKK began intelligence activities near the Turkish border. The North Army is expected to be 70 percent YPG members. The YPG has been cooperating with the U.S. military for a long time in northern Syria. Washington reportedly aims to transform small mobilized groups that are hard to control into a large-scale military formation. It is regarded as a last step in establishing a regular military.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that "it is time to counter the PKK terrorists from forming a corridor in northern Syria, along Turkey's border."
Speaking to Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lawmakers in Ankara, the president reiterated the possibility of a Turkish military operation into the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo province. "It is time to block the separatist terrorist group from forming a terrorist corridor along Syria," he said. "We will complete this process by securing all our borders."
Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24 last year with Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements with the aim to clear the border of the threat of terrorism from Daesh and the YPG.
The operation achieved its objective of driving out Daesh and managed to force the YPG to withdraw to east of the Euphrates River, except for Afrin and Manbij. Since then, Ankara has been giving signals of a possible military offensive and has a large number of military units deployed near Idlib to keep a tight grip on the town.