DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:50 P.M.) – With rumours mounting that the Turkish Armed Forces may interfere in the battle for Raqqa, the US Army toured the Kurdish-held border town of Tall Abyad on Tuesday afternoon.
In a related event, US coalition representative Brett McGurk met with commanders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and officials of the newly established SDF-linked Raqqa Civil Council. The latter group will control the predominately Arab city of Raqqa once it is captured entirely by Kurdish contingents.
Last week, reports indicated that Turkish choppers had entered Syrian airspace and were spotted flying above Tall Abyad, a town in northern Raqqa which was bombarded by Turkish artillery units not long ago.
Elsewhere in northern Syria, dozens of Turkish Army tanks were deployed in northern Aleppo and may spearhead an offensive there, ultimately looking to drive the US-backed SDF back towards the city of Efrin.
Remarkably, these recent events put two staunch NATO allies at odds with one another and may increase tensions between Washington and Ankara.