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.
00:00 dk 12 Aralık 2018 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.
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.
Turkey to launch operation east of Euphrates in Syria in a few days: Erdoğan
Speaking at the two-day Turkish Defense Summit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey would launch an operation targeting the east of the Euphrates river in Syria in order to “liberate it” from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in a few days.“It is time to realize our decision to wipe out terror groups in the east of Euphrates,” Erdoğan said on Wednesday in capital Ankara.“Turkey's target has never been U.S. soldiers with the operation in the east of the Euphrates, but rather members of terror group. We are determined to make that region livable and peaceful. This step will allow for the path to a political solution to be opened and for healthier cooperation,” he added.Ankara and Washington have long been at odds over Syria policy, where the United States has backed the YPG.Video: Turkey to launch military op in Syria ‘in a few days,’ says ErdoğanManbijErdoğan said delaying tactics continue to be applied in Manbij, referring to the agreement between Turkey and the U.S. that focuses on the withdrawal of PKK/YPG terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.“Although approximately 80-85 percent of Manbij belongs to Arabs, there are still terrorist groups there,” he added.Ankara has recently repeatedly voiced frustration about what it says are delays in the implementation of a deal with the United States to clear the YPG from the town of Manbij, just west of the Euphrates.In November, Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in northern Syria.‘US, PKK are after Daesh’s gold reserves in Syria’The PYD and its military YPG wing are Syrian branches of the PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years.The president said it was clear that the purpose of U.S. observation points in Syria were not to protect Turkey country from terrorists but to protect terrorists from Turkey.U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Nov. 21 that the United States was setting up observation posts to avert terror threats.“We are going to track any threat that we can spot going up into Turkey. That means we will be talking to Turkey’s military across the border,” Mattis said.Trump vows to rid Syria of Daesh in one monthDefense industry projectsTurkey is pursuing 650 defense industry projects worth a total of $60 billion dollars, Erdoğan announced.“The Turkish private sector, which is now making armed unmanned aerial vehicles, will go further and produce more powerful ones,” Erdoğan said.The president vowed to improve Turkey's indigenous combat helicopter, the T129 ATAK, saying efforts to develop an indigenous warplane were ongoing.Erdoğan said the indigenous battle tank Altay, which has been further developed with new technologies, will be available to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).Syrian regime prisons are a ‘real hell’ and inmates prefer death, say survivorsTurkey’s first indigenous multi-purpose helicopterThe president also announced Turkey’s first indigenous multi-purpose helicopter as the “T625 GÖKBEY,” which is a twin engine, 6-ton class helicopter developed in response to the growing market demand for higher mission flexibility in this class. The aircraft incorporates several new technology features to provide the highest levels of safety and operational benefits for operators.Erdoğan said Turkey was working to produce indigenous long-range missiles, and that the project’s test-fires had been completed.Exporting domestically-produced productsAlso speaking at the same event, Defense Industry head İsmail Demir said an official visit to a "Far East" country was planned for Monday in order to finalize the last step of exporting the domestically produced ATAK helicopter.The “T129 ATAK" Multirole Combat Helicopter has been optimized for specific hot and high performance requirements. It is a tandem seat, twin-engine, NATO-interoperable attack helicopter optimized for attack, armed reconnaissance, precision strike and deep strike missions, at day and night regardless of weather conditions.US-led coalition defends strike on hospital in SyriaDemir added that the indigenous Bora missile had successfully passed tests with pinpoint accuracy.The Bora is a long range surface-to-surface missile.The summit, which aims to discuss issues such as the sector's needs, new projects and human resources, is being held at the Presidential Congress and Culture Center in the capital Ankara on Dec. 12-13.Resolute stance against terrorTurkey's determination in the fight against terror continues in Syria's Idlib, Manbij and the east of Euphrates in the same manner, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday."We will never allow a terror corridor on our borders," Akar said.
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.
US training of terrorists ‘not acceptable’ to Turkey
The U.S. training of YPG/PKK terrorists is not acceptable to Ankara, Turkey’s defense minister said on Wednesday.Speaking at an event in the capital Ankara marking Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Armed Forces Day, Hulusi Akar said Turkey is determined to protect its rights in land, seas and air.Turkey has long criticized U.S. cooperation with its “reliable” allies the PKK/YPG against Daesh, pointing out that the YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK, a group recognized as terrorist by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.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."Turkey will not let any terror corridor in country's south and Syria's north, including east of Euphrates river. So far Turkey has performed major fights against all terror organizations, PKK, YPG, Daesh, especially FETO, for peace in Turkey and the region and we will go on with our fight and operations with the same determination until the last terrorist is neutralized," Akar said.FETO and its U.S.-based leader, Fetullah Gulen, is accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.The defense minister also criticized the West for not extending necessary contributions to cope up with the human tragedies in Syria and Iraq.US says Turkey's planned Syria operation 'grave concern'"Now we see that the world public opinion, which was deaf to the tragedy in Srebrenica, is now deaf to several similar tragic cases in Syria," he said, and added that Turkey respects all its neighbors' territorial integrities, especially that of Syria and Iraq.Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces after they attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to capture territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats in an attempt to create their own state.Hundreds of Bosnian families are still searching for missing loved ones, as a large number of victims were thrown into mass graves throughout the country during the Bosnian War, which spanned from 1992-1995.Speaking about Turkey’s defense ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Akar said his country will continue to support the Bosnian army.
US says Turkey's planned Syria operation 'grave concern'
The United States voiced grave concern Wednesday over an operation planned by Turkey in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PKK terror organization.President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said earlier that an offensive east of the Euphrates River is imminent and Turkey will launch it "within a matter of days" to clear the region of the terrorist group.Turkey has long criticized U.S. cooperation with the YPG/PKK against Daesh, pointing out that the YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK."Unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party, particularly as U.S. personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern," said Pentagon Spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson. "We would find any such actions unacceptable."He said "coordination and consultation between the U.S. and Turkey is the only approach to address issues of security concern in this area."‘US seeks to remain in Syria by training 70,000 PKK terrorists’The U.S. military is committed to working closely with the Turkish military to boost cooperation and coordination, said Robertson, adding "uncoordinated military operations" will undermine that shared interest.The commander praised Turkey as a "NATO ally" for more than six decades and "a key partner" in the international fight against Daesh."We have solemn obligations to one another's security. We are fully committed to Turkey's border security," he said.Robertson said the U.S.-led coalition is working closely with the YPG/PKK-led SDF group, which he said is "in the midst of offensive operations against ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley," using another name for Daesh."The SDF remains a committed partner against ISIS and we remain committed to working with them to ensure ISIS's enduring defeat," he said.A possible 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.‘US, PKK are after Daesh’s gold reserves in Syria’