— MOHAMMED GHORAB (@MGhorab3) 12 October 2017
On October 12, 30 vehicles of the Turkish Army including armored vehicles entered Syria’s Idlib province via the Atme border crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border, according to Syrian opposition groups.
Syrian opposition activists claimed that the Turkish Army convoy was escorted by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) fighters. However, these claims are not confirmed yet.
The Turkish Army likely started its deployment between the Atme border crossing and Darat Izza town in the northern Aleppo countryside. The Turkish Army deployment suggest that there is an agreement with HTS.
Furthermore, it appears that the upcoming Turkish Army military operation could be aimed against the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Afrin city in the northern Aleppo countryside.
The Turkish Army deployment comes hours only after Turkish National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said at the European defense ministers’ meeting in Georgia that the PKK and PYD will use the weapons supplied to them by the US to attack Turkey once ISIS is defeated.
“The U.S. is doing this [for its fight against ISIS], but we know that the terror group’s final target is Turkey. Once [the fight against] ISIS is done, which it is almost, all of those weapons will point at Turkey,” Canikli said.
Canikli also said that the US supplied the PYD with enough weapons to arm an army of 40,000-50,000 men.
Canikli statements in Georgia prove that the Turkish goverment still view the PYD and PKK as the main enemies of the Turkish state. According to this, Turkey indeed might be willing to go into an alliance with radical groups – like HTS – to counter its “main enemies”.
Photos from the border area: