Turkey says it will begin its military offensive into Syria 'shortly'

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces SDF march during a demonstration against possible Turkish military operation in their areas in Al-Qahtaniya Syria

A large convoy of buses carrying Syrian rebel fighters and trucks loaded with equipment arrived at the Turkish border town of Akcakale early on Wednesday, a Reuters witness said.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that his administration is not abandoning the Kurds in Syria and is helping them financially and with weapons after a bipartisan backlash over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern part of the country. "Also remember, and importantly, that Turkey is an important member in good standing of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

A USA base in northern Syria just a few kilometers away from the Turkish border has been completely abandoned, new footage reveals.

Earlier, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote that Turkish forces, "together with the Free Syrian Army", a military formation Damascus considers to be a terrorist group, would "cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly" for an anti-terrorist operation.

Kurdish-led forces have denounced the United States policy shift as a "stab in the back".

But to Turkey those consequences are less frightening than the prospect of an enduring, internationally-accepted Kurdish state on its border, one that strengthens the prospect of a wider Kurdish homeland in the Middle East.

Shortly after, Turkish officials cited by Reuters said that an operation in Syria had not begun, although troops and heavy equipment had removed a block at a section of the border wall between the two countries. The area is about 620 kilometres northwest of Tehran.

Still, even though he supports the president's efforts to end the US military presence in Syria, Mr. Friedman says he deplores both the impulsive nature of Sunday's decision as well as the broader chaotic national security decision-making process behind it.

Iran, along with Russian Federation, are both key allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and both have troops stationed in Syria.

In its call for mobilisation, the local Kurdish authority known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, also urged the global community to live up to its responsibilities as "a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people" in the region. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, said in a statement Monday, noting that the president "took this step against the advice of our diplomats and military leaders".

In this image provided by Hawar News Agency, ANHA, U.S. military vehicles travel down a main road in northeast Syria, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, accused the USA of playing "very unsafe games" with the Syrian Kurds.

Syria said it would defend itself against any Turkish assault.

"Such reckless attitude to this highly sensitive subject can set fire to the entire region, and we have to avoid it at any cost".

Once secured, Turkey wants to resettle the area with 2 million Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey due to the conflict in their home country.

Turkey has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding the Syrian Kurdish forces on its southern border, which have de facto control over northern Syria, and has repeatedly vowed to launch incursions into northern Syria to force the Kurdish fighters out.

The commander of the Kurdish-led militia told The New York Times his forces were prepared to battle the Turkish military.

US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters pose for a photo in Baghouz, Syria, after the Kurdish-led SDF declared the area free of Islamic State militants on March 23, 2019. Unwilling to let go of an area they wrested from the Islamic State group, the battle-hardened Kurdish fighters - trained and equipped by the US - have vowed to fight the Turks until the end.

Britain said it was "deeply concerned" by Turkey's plans to attack Kurdish fighters, who lead the SDF. There was no word on casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, says the attack involved two IS fighters who engaged in a shootout before blowing themselves up.



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