Turkey increases threats, Syria confirms readiness

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Turkey increased on Wednesday its threats to launch a military operation in northern Syria while Syrian government forces confirm their readiness to confront any Turkish aggression through sending military reinforcements to contact lines and responding to the Turkish threats.

On Wednesday, a Turkish channel, cited Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying that Turkey “does not ask permission from anyone to launch a military operation in Syria’s north, as Turkey may implement this operation at any time.”

This coincided with an announcement by General Command of the Syrian government forces, as they said that they are fully prepared to confront any possible aggression by the “Turkish regime” on Syrian territory.

At the same time, the government forces sent military reinforcements, including military vehicles and troops, to Menagh Military Airbase in the northern countryside of Aleppo Governorate.

The Turkish shelling decreased after intermittent flights of Russian warplanes that were hovering over the city of Manbij and the northern countryside of Aleppo.

During the past few days, the northern countryside of Aleppo, including the town of Tel Rifaat and military posts of the government forces in the area, witnessed Turkish military escalation, which resulted in civilian and military casualties, according to North Press.

Earlier, Erdogan said that they are not obliged to explain their timetable to any party and the operation will begin in the context of their assessment of their security risks. So, it may start at any time.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu criticized on Wednesday the US Central Command (CENTCOM) condolences to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), for targeting a car that was carrying three SDF female leaders by a Turkish drone in the city of Qamishli, northeast Syria.

On July 24, the CENTCOM extended its condolences to the SDF, for Turkish targeting of three female commanders.

SANA reported, on June 9, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said, “If there is an invasion, there will be popular resistance in the first stage…Of course, in the places where the Syrian government forces is positioned, and it is not deployed to all regions in Syria, and when military conditions allow for direct confrontation, we will do this thing.”

On July 12, 16 and 17, Syrian government forces and Russian forces sent military reinforcements, including artillery, rocket launchers, ammunition and soldiers, to Manbij, northern Syria, through al-Tayha crossing, southwest of Manbij.

Before that, the SDF Commander in Chief, Mazloum Abdi, said in a press conference “We accepted that the Syrian Army fortifies its posts in Kobani, Manbij and border areas in order to carry out its task to protect Syrian border, and we will do what is needed to avoid war against our areas.”

Early in July, informed military sources told North Press that the Syrian government forces are preparing to deploy heavily in the vicinity of Kobani, Manbij and Tel Rifaat, north of Aleppo, which the SDF referred to earlier as the “joint defense plan” between them and the Syrian government.

About 550 soldiers of the Syrian government forces were deployed in the countryside of Aleppo and Raqqa, according to media agencies.

Ahmed Rahal, a defected Brigadier General, said, during a televised interview, that the Syrian and Russian military mobilization is not small, as the deployment of 550 soldiers on the Syrian-Turkish borders and the Russian landing of about 500 paratroopers in Qamishli, is “unprecedented.”

On the other hand, Turkey has increased the number of its military forces and Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) in Syrian areas under their control, eight months after the Turkish president’s first threat to invade Syria’s north.

However, Abdi stressed, in a former statement, that they will not be alone in this battle, as the Syrian government forces is preparing for as well.

Reporting by Rahaf Youssef