SUN 24 - 3 - 2019
Nov 6, 2018
The Daily Star
Turkey to send 500 Syrian fighters to east Syria
BEIRUT: Turkey is set to transfer over 500 Syrian fighters to areas east of the Euphrates Monday after it threatened a fresh offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria’s northeast, activists said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said this move would bring the number of Turkish-backed Syrian fighters moved to areas in eastern Syria to around 1,200 within a 48-hour period.
A spokesperson from the Syrian Democratic Forces did not immediately respond to The Daily Star’s request for comment.
The Observatory added that Turkey specifically chose to send fighters originally from the eastern Syrian towns of Deir al-Zor, Raqqa and al-Hasakah in order to further sow strife with Kurdish forces there.
Kurdish forces were last week forced to suspend an offensive against Daesh (ISIS) in eastern Syria after Turkish shelling killed four of their fighters.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to “destroy the terrorist structure east of the Euphrates.” Ankara views with hostility the buildup of Kurdish forces along its border and regards the Syrian Democratic Forces – spearheaded by the Kurdish-majority People’s Protection Units (YPG) – as a terrorist force.
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