The PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) have stepped up thier preparations against an upcoming Turkish military operation to the east of the Euphrates River thanks to the support they receive from the United States.
Media outlets reported yesterday that the U.S. Department of Defense has replaced its military forces with YPG forces in the observation points (OPs) built in Tel Abyad, 2 kilometers away from the Syrian-Turkish border. Reportedly, the U.S.-backed YPG forces covered the OPs with tarps and also started to observe Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) movements across the border, while U.S. armored vehicles are ensuring the observation points' security.
Last month, the U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that the country will set up OPs in several locations along the northern Syrian-Turkish border to "address NATO ally Turkey's legitimate security concerns" over the U.S. support for YPG forces.
However, Ankara conveyed its discomfort over the issue and regarded the move as an attempt to distinguish and legitimize the YPG existence in Syria. A lot of experts also commented that observation points are planned to be established with the aim of protecting the YPG from a likely Turkish operation.
PKK terrorists have also increased their demonstrations abroad. On Sunday, there were multiple protests held by the PKK in Berlin, where it is listed as a terrorist organization. During the protests, five members of the security forces were injured, and three protesters were arrested, Berlin police announced yesterday. The protests were outlawed in the country following numerous violations concerning the use of prohibited flags and portraits. Following the arrests, the organizers said the attitude of the Berlin police was Germany's way of supporting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Meanwhile, speaking to Basnews, an Iraq-based pro-Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) media outlet, a source who spoke under condition of anonymity said on Sunday that Washington is considering deploying he Syrian Peshmerga forces (known as the Roj Peshmerga) in the area east of the Euphrates and to station them between the YPG-controlled territories and the Turkish border.
According to the source, thousands of the Syrian Peshmerga troops are likely to be moved from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq to designated areas by the U.S. in the near future following the initial deployment of 400 Peshmerga forces. The Roj Peshmerga mainly consists of Syrian Kurds who left their hometowns and resided in the areas run by the KRG after the Syrian civil war began. These Peshmerga forces, with an estimated 8,000 militants, have been trained by U.S. forces in the cities of Erbil and Dohuk in Iraq since 2012 to be used in anti-Daesh forces in Mosul and along the Iraq-Syria border. However, YPG forces and their political entity, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had been preventing the Roj Peshmergas from entering northern Syria due to their close connections with KDP.