The Turkish military deployed large reinforcements in the southern province of Kilis along the border with Syria, the Syrian Enab Baladi news outlet reported on December 23 citing Turkish sources.
According to the pro-opposition news outlet, the reinforcements included several commando units and more than 100 armored vehicles of different types.
The deployment of these forces is clearly a part of Turkey’s plan to launch an operation against US-backed proxies in northeastern Syria. The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Euphrates Shield (ES) area, south of Kilis, is expected to support the operation with more than 15,000 fighters.
Earlier this week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his military will delay the operation as a result of the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Syria. However, he noted that this halt will not be an “open ended waiting process.”
“The phone call we made with [US President] Trump, as well as the contacts of our diplomatic and security units, and the statements made by the American side led us to wait for a while [for an operation],” said Erdogan
The continues military buildup on the border with Syria reflects Turkey’s strict stand against US-backed forces in northern Syria, which will be defenseless within a few months.