The Turkish army is preparing to conduct two operations in Syria, a source in the Syrian opposition told Russian media.
“The armed formations have been put on full alert by order from Ankara,” the source said.
He clarified that the military was divided to work in several directions in the province of Idlib, in some settlements in the area of the cities of Mari and Azaz (northern Aleppo) near the Minig military airport in the area of the city of Manbij, as well as on the borders of Qamishli and Hassakah.
According to the source, the groups led by Turkey are preparing for two operations at the same time: in the northwest of Idlib to support the armed factions in the region and in the northeast of Syria against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
When asked when the campaign is expected to start, the interlocutor explained that it could happen at any time, unexpectedly.
“Most likely, after the meeting of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan with US President Joe Biden,” he added.
The Turkish leader said he plans to discuss with his American counterpart in Glasgow the repayment of the US $1.4 billion debt for the F-35 fighters, which Washington refused to supply to Ankara due to the S-400 deal with Moscow. The White House has not confirmed reports of an upcoming meeting.
Earlier Erdogan did not rule out a new military campaign, citing the increased number of attacks by the Kurds on Turkish soldiers.
Just days earlier than these rumors, Turkey’s parliament extended the military’s mandate to launch cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq by two more years.
The motion was first approved in 2013 to support the international campaign against ISIS and has since been renewed annually. This is the first time it’s extended for two years and not one, however.
It also marked the first time the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voted against the measure, ahead of an important general election due by June 2023.
“You don’t tell us what it is about. You say [it will be valid] for two years and tell us to vote for it. Why?” CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu asked Erdogan in an address to his party members in parliament.
The new motion allows the military to carry out cross-border operations against groups deemed by Ankara as “terrorist organisations”.
“The risks and threats to national security posed by ongoing conflicts in regions near Turkey’s southern border are continuing to increase,” the motion presented to parliament by Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Turkey Desperately Trying To Justify Its Forthcoming Anti-Kurdish Operation
- SDF Deploy Reinforcements In Al-Hasakah Following Mutiny In Prison Hosting ISIS Prisoners