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Turkey Reportedly Redeploys Troops to Border With Syria Amid US Pullout

© AFP 2023 / Omar Haj Kadour / Turkish forces are seen in a convoy on a main highway between Damascus and Aleppo
Turkish forces are seen in a convoy on a main highway between Damascus and Aleppo - Sputnik International
Following initial statements about an upcoming military operation in the Eastern Euphrates and Manbij against Kurdish militants, the Turkish president announced on 21 December that it would be delayed in light of a US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.

Turkey has started sending military reinforcements to the border with Syria and to the Arab Republic itself, reported the Turkish Demiroren News Agency (DHA). According to it, a Turkish military convoy, moving through Kilis district, consisted of tanks, howitzers, and busses full of commandos.

Members of the Turkish-backed Syrian forces - Sputnik International
Erdogan Decides to Postpone Military Op in Syria After Talk With Trump

Part of the convoy has been spread across the border posts, while the rest entered Syria through the border in Elbeyli district, which is situated relatively close to Syria's Manbij, and which was among the announced targets of the future Turkish military campaign.

Turkey's officials haven't commented on the report yet.

The reported redeployment of troops is taking place days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on 21 December that the planned military operation in Syria will be postponed in light of his recent talks with US President Donald Trump. Erdogan didn't specify how long the operation would be delayed.

READ MORE: Turkey Promises to 'Bury' Kurds in New Syrian Ops Amid US Withdrawal — Reports

The Turkish president announced a military operation against Syrian Kurds in Manbij and to the east of Euphrates earlier this week. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar also said on 20 December that the country's army was "intensely" preparing for the Syrian operation and vowed to "bury" Kurds in the trenches and tunnels.

READ MORE: Syrian Kurds Vow to Fight 'to Death' in Event of New Turkish Op in Syria — SDF

Ankara considers Kurdish forces in northern Syria to be linked with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation in Turkey. The latter has been at war with Ankara since the 1980s, when it first demanded autonomy.

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