Turkish security forces along the border with Syria were ordered to be prepare for a possible intervention into the Kurdish-held region of Afrin, state-run Anadolu news agency reported Thursday.
The Turkish military build-up along the border continuedm with tanks arriving in the Hatay province, according to the Anadolu report, which said that the situation in Afrin is ‘posing a threat to Turkey's border security.’ Late Wednesday, a National Security Council meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded that Turkey will take ‘immediate’ and ‘resolute’ steps to protect itself from threats coming from western Syria, the report said.
The news comes three days after Erdogan threatened to crush a ‘terror army’ he believes the United States is trying to set up on Turkey's border with Syria.
Ankara is up in arms about the fact that Washington is allied with Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the fight against the Islamic State extremist group in Syria.
In a statement, the US-led coalition in Syria denied reports it is setting up a new border force in the area.
‘This is not a new army or conventional border guard force,’ it said, adding the coalition ‘continues to train local security forces in Syria.’ Meanwhile, Turkish shelling continued for the sixth consecutive day on areas surrounding Afrin, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Anadolu said Thursday that Turkey had ‘returned fire’ on Kurdish militia positions in northern Syria.
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