The US-led coalition is establishing a first of its planned observation posts, which will monitor the Syrian-Turkish border, local sources told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on November 28. The post is reportedly located near the town of Bir Ashiq in the northern Raqqa countryside.
“The post is being equipped with military, logistic and communication equipment … the number of the [US-led] coalition bases in the area held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will raise to 19,” the UK-based monitoring group said in its report.
The coalition’s plan to establish several observation posts on the Syrian-Turkish border was revealed by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis last week. Mattis claimed that these posts will address Turkey’s “legitimate” concerns about “terror threats” in northeastern Syria, which is controlled by the US-backed SDF.
However, Turkey’s Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, slammed the coalition’s plan and said that such measure would further complicate the situation in northeastern Syria. Akar also hoped that the U.S. will soon cut its ties with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which are considered the core of the SDF.
The planned observation posts will prevent any attempt by Turkey’s proxies to expand in the SDF-held area, which will likely lead to more tension between Washington and Ankara.