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Turkey reinforces military units on Syrian border

Turkey considers Syrian-Kurdish factions such as the YPG as terror groups [Getty file photo]

Date of publication: 5 August, 2017

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Turkish news agencies say the country has increased its military presence along its southern border against threats from Kurdish militants in war-torn northern Syria.
Turkish news agencies say the country has increased its military presence along its southern border against threats from Kurdish militants in war-torn northern Syria.

The official Anadolu news agency said on Saturday that Turkey dispatched artillery to Kilis province to reinforce units there.

The six-vehicle convoy included tanks and howitzers to be positioned across from the Kurdish-controlled Syrian region of Afrin, according to the private Dogan news agency.

Turkey has been vehemently opposed to the presence of the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, in northern Syria.

The country considers the YPG, a key US ally in fighting the Islamic State group in Syria, a terror group and an extension of Kurdish militants operating inside Turkey.

In late April, Turkey relocated military units to Sanliurfa province across from another YPG-controlled area.

Turkey intervened militarily in northern Syria to contain both Kurdish factions and the Islamic State. 

The Ankara-backed Turkish-Syrian Euphrates Shield force launched operations against IS last year, taking territory in northern Syria as Kurdish forces also competed to carve out territory close to the Turkish border.

It put the two groups on a collision course, with all-out war only averted after the US intervened to back its Kurdish-Arab allies.

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