Turkish armed forces have deployed over 20 armored vehicles along the Syrian border on Monday afternoon, local media reported.
The Anadolu Agency reported, citing an unnamed military source, that 24 armored vehicles, with military jammers “for reinforcement reasons,” had entered Southern Turkey’s Hatay province.
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey might launch an operation in Syria’s Afrin and Manbij, controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is considered by Ankara a terrorist organization associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), banned in the country. Within recent weeks Turkey has repeatedly shelled the areas and even sent military equipment including tanks to the border with Syria.
The media outlet also linked the move to Erdogan’s pledge to continue “purging terrorism from our southern borders” in an operation in Afrin, which is supposed to follow the country’s seven-month Euphrates Shield operation.
According to the agency’s correspondent on the ground, “intense smoke” was coming from Nesreyieh region in Afrin.
On Saturday, in the Defense Post’s article, the spokesman of the US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia and the United States) said that the coalition was engaged in training a 30,000-strong border security force on the Syrian territory controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia.
Earlier on Monday, Erdogan strongly criticized the US plans, threatening to eliminate these troops and begin the operation in Afrin “at any moment.”