16:17 GMT24 September 2020
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    A representative of the Army of Revolutionaries, part of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said that Turkey is planning to build a military base in northern Syria on territory captured during the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Turkey is planning to build a military base in northern Syria on territory captured during the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, Zekeriya Abdulmecit, a representative of the Army of Revolutionaries, part of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), told Sputnik on Friday.

    "According to information from reliable sources, Turkey intends to build a military base on Syrian territory near Akhtarin… Currently, Turkey is deploying additional forces to Akhtarin in order to station its special forces troops here," Abdulmecit said.

    The SDF member stressed that Turkey seeks mainly to prevent Syria's de facto autonomous Kurdish-dominated Rojava federation from joining its forces between Manbij and Afrin.

    "Having secured control over Jarabulus, Turkey seeks to spread its influence here, to turkify the region. Its main task is to prevent us from capturing the road connecting Afrin and Manbij," he said.

    Afrin is currently an enclave in the northwestern corner of Syria, separated from the rest of Rojava by the Daesh, Syrian opposition and Turkish forces currently fighting in the area of al-Bab.

    On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began the Euphrates Shield operation to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of the Islamic State, outlawed in Russia and many other countries. After seizing Jarabulus, Turkish forces and opposition fighters pushed further south into the Aleppo governorate.

    The operation has been widely criticized both by the Syrian Kurds and Damascus, who accuse Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.


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