14,000 strong FSA army ready for Turkey’s Euphrates op
MİDDLE EAST

14,000 strong FSA army ready for Turkey’s Euphrates op

FSA forces will serve as an advance guard and their numbers will increase once the operation begins

News Service Yeni Şafak

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) ordered the Free Syrian Army (FSA) three days ago to prepare 14,000 troops for an operation targeting the east of Syria’s Euphrates River, according to information obtained by Yeni Şafak daily. The FSA was told to prepare armaments and equipment for the operation.

Turkey will launch an operation in the east of the Euphrates in a few days to liberate the region from the PKK terrorist organization, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday.

"It is time to realize our decision to wipe out terror groups east of the Euphrates," Erdoğan said.

An army of 14,000

The FSA completed its preparations for the operation on Wednesday, coinciding with Erdoğan’s announcement. FSA’s 14,000-strong force will serve as an advance guard and their numbers will increase once the operation begins.

The TAF’s commando and Special Forces units were informed that they would partake in the operation, and were allowed to visit their families before deploying.

Turkey deploys military vehicles

Thirty armored personnel carriers dispatched from the border province of Kilis headed toward the Syria border, which is where they will be stationed. The convoy of military vehicles is protected by a wide range of security measures.

Turkey deploys 30 military vehicles to Syria border as op looms
Yeni Şafak

Turkey deploys 30 military vehicles to Syria border as op looms

Turkey on Wednesday deployed 30 military vehicles to its border with Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced earlier during the day that a military operation would be launched in the east of the Euphrates River in syria in a few days.

Accelerated deployments

Over the past 15 days, military deployments to the Syrian border have been increased. Armored vehicles, tanks and personnel were deployed from Şanlıurfa to Akçakale.

In the first stage of the operation, strategic targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)/People’s Protection Units (YPG) will be hit. Positions, routes, logistic centers and connection points determined through field intelligence will first be struck and then cleared.

The operation is expected to rapidly clear 100 square kilometers of terror elements.

PKK tactics anticipated

It is presumed that the operation will commence from Tal Abyad, which is a tactical location east of the Euphrates. Once Tal Abyad is cleared of terror elements, its connection to Manbij will be severed.

Both TAF and FSA units were warned to be wary of bomb attacks carried out by terrorists. The PKK terror group is expected to conduct new forms of attacks.

U.S. troops warned

Before the operation is officially launched, U.S. troops will be told to remain within their region and away from PKK targets. Turkey will request the coordinates of U.S. soldiers in the region.

A mission east of the Euphrates, which Turkey’s leadership has been suggesting for months, would follow two successful cross-border Turkish operations into Syria since 2016 – Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch – both meant to eradicate the presence of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists near Turkey’s borders.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

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