Turkey continues military deployment to Syria border as anti-terror op looms

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 02.01.2019 16:18
Turkish military convoy is seen passing through southeastern Şanlıurfa province while on way to Mardin province, Jan. 2, 2019. (AA Photo)
Turkish military convoy is seen passing through southeastern Şanlıurfa province while on way to Mardin province, Jan. 2, 2019. (AA Photo)

Turkey deployed more military equipment to its frontier with Syria, as preparations for its cross-border counterterrorism operation continued.

Military convoys were spotted Wednesday in the southeastern Turkish provinces of Gaziantep, Kilis and Şanlıurfa.

A truck convoy carrying ammunition, generators and tank fuel passed through Şanlıurfa city center before proceeding toward Mardin.

Another convoy of ammunition-loaded trucks and armored personnel carriers transited through Kilis to Gaziantep.

Meanwhile, military vehicles and howitzers previously brought to Hatay also started their journey to Gaziantep.

Enhanced security measures were taken in the area during the continued deployment of military equipment.

In mid-December, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced an imminent Turkish operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, saying Turkey had begun taking action toward the offensive against the PKK terror group's Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG).

Almost all the territory east of the Euphrates comprises about a third of the territory of Syria, except for the Bashar Assad regime-controlled area near Deir el-Zour and the area near the Iraqi border controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group dominated by YPG terrorists.

Erdoğan said Turkey would postpone the operation after U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise decision to withdraw American troops from Syria.

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