03:07 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Turkish Army vehicles and tanks wait near the Syrian border in Suruc on February 23, 2015

    Erdogan Sets Sights on Syria, But is He Fighting Daesh or Democratic Kurds?

    © AFP 2019 / ILYAS AKENGIN
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    Turkey is reportedly planning a military operation to drive Daesh fighters out of a strategic border area in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

    A military operation is being prepared by the Turkish army to liberate the strategic town of Jarabulus in Syria's Aleppo province from Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) militants, according to Sputnik Turkey.

    Regional sources said that the Turkish Armed Forces' top brass has allegedly ordered the Free Syrian Army's Turkmen units to prevent Kurdish People's Protection Units from entering Jarabulus, a town to the west of the Euphrates River near Syria's border with Turkey.

    Right now, Turkish army units are being deployed to the country's border with Syria, along with demining equipment which was delivered to the area on Tuesday.

    Riot police use water cannons to disperse pro-Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against security operations in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, in Van, Turkey
    © REUTERS / STRINGER
    Riot police use water cannons to disperse pro-Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against security operations in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, in Van, Turkey

    Additionally, special vehicles are currently awaiting permission to cross the border near a checkpoint in the town  Karkamis in southeastern Turkey.

    Turkey had turned a blind eye to Daesh militants operating along its border with Syria for at least four years. However, Ankara eventually declared war against Daesh on its frontier after an ISIL suicide bomber killed thirty-two people in Suruc, a Turkish town located near the border.

    Earlier, the US international affairs magazine The National Interest quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying that apart from Daesh, Ankara is also allegedly threatened by the Kurdish nationalist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and its Syrian affiliate, the People’s Defense Units (YPG).

    The YPG was originally formed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in 2014. Despite the fact that the YPG is mainly Kurdish, it also recruits Arabs, Turks and westerners; it is allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces and maintains a female brigade.

    The nature of links between the YPG and the PKK is disputed, but they both are known to have adhered to the same ideology and have waged an armed struggle for the self-determination of Kurds.

    Related:

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    Turkish Security Forces Kill 19 PKK Militants – General Staff
    Turkey Detains 12 Academics Over Calls to Stop Violence Against Kurds
    Protests Resume in Turkey Amid Ankara's Assault on Kurds
    Tags:
    equipment, units, province, militants, military operation, border, Daesh, Turkey
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